Settlement scheme leaves open the possibility of ‘EU citizens being left out’

Settlement scheme leaves open the possibility of ‘EU citizens being left out’

The Home Affairs Committee has declared in a report that problems relating to the government’s EU settlement scheme—combined with the uncertainty surrounding the future rights of EU citizens in the UK—risks a repeat of the Windrush scandal. The committee has expressed concern that current design of the scheme leaves open the possibility of leaving out some EU citizens. It has called on the government to introduce legislation to ensure that all EU citizens legally living in the UK at the time of Brexit are allowed to remain in the country. The scheme would therefore move from being a time-limited opportunity to guarantee the rights of EU citizens, to merely the method by which individuals can obtain proof of their status.

The committee has recommended the following:

• EU citizens legally resident in the UK before Brexit should have their rights protected and entitlement to remain enshrined in law

• the scheme should operate as a means for EU citizens to obtain formal, physical confirmation of their status, not just as a digital system

• the granting of legal rights and the scheme should operate in the same way if the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal

• improvements must be made to the application process which has been blighted by technical issues

• the scheme must identify ways of supporting children and vulnerable individuals to apply

• the government must clarify its intentions towards those who fail to apply


Source: LexisNexis

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