EU nationals should be given vote in future election, says Sir Keir Starmer

Labour leadership candidate Keir Starmer speaking to supporters at West Ham Town Hall in east London

Labour leadership candidate Keir Starmer speaking to supporters at West Ham Town Hall in east London. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday January 27, 2020. See PA story POLITICS Labour. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire - Credit: PA

European Union nationals should be given the right to vote in UK elections, Labour leadership contender Sir Keir Starmer has claimed.

Sir Keir said the treatment of around three million EU nationals since the EU referendum had been "shameful".

EU citizens can only vote in local elections rather than Westminster contests, something Sir Keir said must change as he called for an end to Brexit divisions.

Writing in The Guardian ahead of a speech, he said: "The government should give all three million EU nationals living in the UK full voting rights in future elections.

"The way they have been treated over the past three years is shameful. We were never just 'tolerating' EU citizens living in this country - they are our neighbours, friends and families."

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He added: "As a country we've been bitterly divided for three and a half years.

"Our politics has been frozen instead of tackling the real and deep-rooted problems we face.

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"Now the Leave-Remain divide must end. Defining people by how they voted in June 2016 merely upholds a divide that we must overcome. There are no Leavers or Remainers any more. In 2024 there will be no leave or remain constituencies."

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