EU citizens are stuck in limbo as ‘settled status’ backlog soars
THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS are calling on the Government to grant EU citizens the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need, as new Home Office figures reveal that 190 people in Pembrokeshire are still waiting for a decision on their Settled Status application.
The latest EU Settlement Scheme statistics show that, as of the end of December, there have been 1,820 applications from people living in Pembrokeshire, but only 1,630 of these have been concluded.
The figures also reveal that 630 people in Pembrokeshire have only been granted temporary ‘Pre-Settled Status’. That means a total of 820 applicants have still not been given the permanent right to stay.
Responding to the figures, Alistair Cameron, Welsh Democrat Spokesperson Candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, said:
“Far too many EU citizens in Pembrokeshire are still living under a cloud of uncertainty. They must have the right to stay.
“EU citizens are an integral part of our local communities. They are our friends and family and many have lived and worked in this country for a long time. The Liberal Democrats will always stand up for them.
“We will keep fighting to secure their automatic right to stay, with the physical proof they need.”
Tina Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Candidate for Preseli Pembrokeshire added:
“Boris Johnson and the Conservatives promised to guarantee automatically the rights of EU citizens to stay, but they have broken that promise, as they have with so many others.
“The enormous backlog shows that the Government’s botched scheme is anything but automatic. It puts thousands of EU citizens at risk of becoming the victims of a new Windrush-style Scandal.”
Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine tabled the European Citizens’ Rights Bill on 26th February 2020. This Bill guarantees the immigration rights of EU citizens and requires the Government to provide physical proof of these rights in order to avoid another Windrush scandal in which British citizens were wrongly deported from the UK.
The Bill’s Second Reading in the House of Commons was due to take place on 22nd January, but that has been postponed indefinitely by the Government’s decision to cancel sitting Fridays.
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