The Conservative candidate for Esher and Walton slammed Sir Keir Starmer after he attacked Theresa May’s failed attempt to secure the rights of UK residents living on the Continent.
Around 1.2million British expats live throughout the EU and unless a deal can be reached they could be forced to return home.
Debating the topic on Sky News, Sir Keir said: “The Labour Party is absolutely clear we would unilaterally give EU citizens in this country their rights on day one.
“We talk all the time in this space about bargaining chips, we need to be really clear, you bargain when you say to one group of people, ‘We won’t give you your rights until another group of people got their rights,’ that is to bargain.
Dominic Raab accused Labour's Brexit spokesman of siding with the EU
Keir Starmer, you don’t know whose side you’re on
“The Tories saying they’re not using bargaining chips, and the question for Dominic is would you see that through? In other words, if you didn’t get the deal you wanted for UK nationals abroad, would you then not give EU nationals in this country back their rights.”
Mr Raab hit back, claiming his party lived “in the real world of diplomacy” and insisted Labour is “hanging out to dry” British citizens living on the Continent.
He said Mrs May’s negotiating team would treat both sets the same and do a deal early on, adding: “All the gestures of politics the EU in their negotiating mandate say we want to do a deal early as well.”
Mr Raab then proceeded to tell the panel, which included Ukip’s Gerard Batten and the Lib Dem’s Baroness Sarah Ludford, Mrs May has already sought to arrange a deal with Brussels but was rejected.
“The EU said no, not until the formal negotiations begin,” he said.
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Sir Keir attempted to interject, claiming the Prime Minister had failed but was smashed back by a furious Mr Raab who accused his Labour counterpart of siding with Brussels instead of British negotiators.
He blast: “Keir, the Lib Dems and Labour talk, we act.
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“How can you call it a failure? Keir, you don’t know whose side you’re on!”
Europeans are rushing to secure British citizenship with Brexit talks due to start 11 days after the June 8 General Election.
Applications from France, Germany and Italy have raised to 4,790 – the highest such figure in seven years – as people look to secure their futures.
According to The Times, in just the first quarter of 2017, 9,400 EU applicants sought UK citizenship – three times as many as in the same period last year.