Tory MP Tells LBC He's Not An Expert On EU, But Luckily An Expert Is On The Line

20 August 2019, 19:50 | Updated: 21 August 2019, 07:04

When Eddie Mair asked a Tory MP how the Home Office would deal with the backlog of EU citizens applying for settlement in the UK a Tory MP said he wasn't an expert, luckily an expert was on the phone.

During a debate over the future of EU nationals in the UK, Kuba Jablonowski, a postgraduate researcher at at the University of Exeter and Daniel Kawczynski, Conservative MP ended up going head to head on the Eddie Mair show.

Mr Kawczynski said he was born in in Poland, but that there are "massive consequences of completely unchecked free movement of people."

"What about the 90,000 backlog," Eddie asked the Tory MP, a question which the politician initially ignored so Eddie pressed him on it because it is "affecting people's lives, and they want answers."

The MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham said he was "not aware of the exact numbers involved in the backlog," which caused Kuba Jablonowski, to point out he had just told him what they are.

Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski was the first Polish born MP in Parliament
Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski was the first Polish born MP in Parliament. Picture: PA/LBC

The Tory MP conceded that he was now aware of the figures, he suggested that the Home Office would need "more resources" to deal with the backlog.

Eddie asked how many extra staff the Home Office would need to engage to deal with the issue.

Mr Kawczynski said he was "not an expert as to how the Home Office deals with these sort of things," which caused Mr Jablonowski to point out that he was a "bit of an expert" and that he could tell him.

The university researcher said the highest number of applications the Home Office ever processed under the EU settlement scheme was 238,000. He asked the MP how was it going to "process two million in two months."

After Eddie asked Mr Kawczynski another question, the MP said "we have tried to work with the European Union to ensure there is this two year transition period, that was part of the withdrawal agreement."

The Conservative said that "we are leaving on the 31st of October and if there is no-deal then clearly the free movement of people stops."

Eddie shot back and said the government could carry it on until December 2020, but the MP said it was a "matter for Priti Patel," and he could not speak on her behalf.

"If only she'd come on the program," Eddie said.

Watch the whole exhchange in the video at the top of the page.