Brexit bill passes through Parliament

The House of Lords has backed down over amendments to legislation to leave the European Union, paving the way for Theresa May to trigger Article 50 and begin the Brexit process.

With proposed revisions to EU residency rights and a Parliamentary vote on a final Brexit deal scrapped, the bill is likely to receive Royal Assent on Tuesday.

The vote comes after the Vice Chancellor of Oxford, alongside the heads of 35 of its Colleges and Permanent Private Halls, signed a letter calling on MPs to guarantee that EU nationals will keep their residency rights after Brexit.

It has since emerged that several college heads, including those of Corpus Christi, Christ Church and Mansfield, were not recorded as signatories despite signing, or did not sign while agreeing with its content.

The vote will likely affect students from EU member states at Oxford, and at universities across the UK, for years to come.

In a statement to The Oxford Student, OULC Co-Chairs Tom Zagoria and Hannah Taylor said “OULC stands in solidarity with the many EU citizens living in Oxford and the rest of the UK, whose futures are left uncertain by the government’s astonishing failure to accept Labour’s amendment to the Brexit bill”.

“We urge all students to be at the forefront of fighting against the xenophobia and dehumanisation which enables European nationals to be seen only as bargaining chips, not as people”.

OUCA President William Rees-Mogg said: “While our members naturally represent a full spectrum of opinion in regards to Europe, I’m sure we are all glad to see that the triggering of Article 50 has received a thorough review in Parliament”.

The University Press Office and OULD were also approached for comment.