PPS loses his job for trying to seek assurances over citizens' rights

The key Brexit amendments for the next vote- and what they mean

The key Brexit amendments for the next vote- and what they mean

Campaigners were celebrating victory on Wednesday night when the so-called Costa Amendment, named after Conservative MP Alberto Costa, was adopted by the British parliament with the government's support.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said shortly before Costa was forced to resign that the government would support the amendment, but May had indicated the government would oppose it.

A MP serving as a senior aide to Scottish Secretary David Mundell has quit over the government's handling of Brexit guarantees for European Union citizens living in the UK. "Pretty much says everything about how badly broken our politics are".

This was later said to be due to a convention that members of the government, including PPSs, do not table amendments to government bills.

The amendment calls on May to seek "at the earliest opportunity a joint UK-EU commitment to adopt" the part of the withdrawal agreement securing the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British nationals settled in the EU, whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

She has also committed to giving MPs a vote on delaying Brexit, if they reject both her deal and no-deal.

Theresa May, who has already made an offer to European Union citizens, told the Commons on Tuesday that she does not back the amendment because "the European Union does not have the legal authority to do a separate deal on citizens' rights without a new mandate".

In the speech Mrs May said that she would put the withdrawal agreement deal to the MPs again by March 12 and that if the government does not win the vote it will table a motion to be voted on by March 13 at the latest, asking MPs if they approve leaving without a deal.

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When asked by an MP on the home affairs select committee what was wrong with the Costa amendment, Javid replied: "Nothing".

Aside from passing Mr Costa's amendment, MPs also considered amendments by Labour, the SNP and backbench MP Yvette Cooper.

"When was the government not supporting it?", asked Javid, before going on to confirm the U-turn.

Returning to the point at the end of the committee meeting, Javid admitted he had not heard what the prime minister had said about the Costa amendment and confirmed the government would be backing it, but had "low expectations" that it would result in a deal with the EU.

Ms Andreeva said that the best way to protect the continuing rights of expat citizens was "through the Withdrawal Agreement".

She said: "The sacking of Alberto Costa for supporting citizens' rights prolongs the anxiety and uncertainty that over 5 million people have faced for two and a half years".

The European Commission has rebuffed a call by MPs for an agreement with the United Kingdom to ensure that the rights of expats are protected across Europe in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

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