Candidates vying to replace David Cameron must guarantee that European Union nationals are not deported when Britain quits the bloc, campaigners from both sides have urged.
The group of campaigners calls for all leadership contenders to make a “clear and unequivocal” statement reassuring the three million citizens who are facing anxiety over their future, as well as a pledge to fight for a similar deal for UK citizens living in the other 27 EU countries.
Polling has found that 84 per cent of the public supports allowing migrants to stay including 77 per cent of Leave voters.
Just 16 per cent of voters want EU citizens to be forced to leave after Brexit, the ICM research for the independent think-tank British Future found.
Sunder Katwala, director of the think-tank, said: “What’s very clear is that people did not vote to deport three million people living alongside them as their workmates and neighbours.
“The Prime Minister’s statement that there would be ‘no immediate changes’ to the status of EU migrants offered more doubt than reassurance.
“Both he and his successor have a responsibility to make clear that EU migrants are welcome here.”