The Government has issued a statement over the rights of EU nationals in the UK in the wake of the Brexit vote.

It will help reassure contractors worried about the future of thousands of EU builders currently working in construction.

The Government said: “When we do leave the EU, we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected.

“The government recognises and values the important contribution made by EU and other non-UK citizens who work, study and live in the UK.”

EU nationals who have lived continuously in the UK automatically have a permanent right to residence.

People who have lived in the UK for less than 5 years continue to have a right to reside in the UK in accordance with EU law.

EU nationals do not need to register for any documentation in order to enjoy their free movement rights and responsibilities.

The Government added: “There has been no change to the right of EU nationals to reside in the UK and therefore no change to the circumstances in which someone could be removed from the UK.

As was the case before the referendum, EU nationals can only be removed from the UK if they are considered to pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to the public, if they are not lawfully resident or are abusing their free movement rights.”