Keith intervened in the chamber this week during questions to the Brexit Secretary David Davis.
Keith asked about guarantees for European Union citizens post-Brexit and the means that will be provided for EU citizens to register before the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
The exchange and David Davis response are below:
Keith Vaz (Leicester East) (Lab)
A record number of EU citizens resident in the United Kingdom applied for British citizenship this summer. We have 3 million EU citizens living here. Given that there is still no certainty about their status, is the right hon. Gentleman’s advice to them immediately to apply for leave to remain in this country? If so, what additional resources does he propose to give to the Home Office?
My advice is almost the opposite. The simple truth is that if 3 million people applied for leave to remain the Home Office might have the odd glitch along the way. That is part of the point of saying that there will be a two-year grace period after departure in 2019 in which people can make that application. Between now and then a great deal of resource will be put in to ensure that that process is streamlined. The right hon. Gentleman will remember because of his previous eminent role that the original application document was something like 85 pages long. We got it down to 16 and now six. It will be streamlined to a very, very simple process by the time that we get to that two-year grace period.