The rights of EU citizens in the UK
I already know from my ‘postbag’ about the potentially detrimental effects of Brexit on my constituents including the many thousands of EU nationals living in Westminster North. Citizens of other EU countries resident in the UK were excluded from voting in the referendum, and then left with uncertainty about their future.
EU citizens not only contribute to our society: they are an essential part of our society, and certainly should not be regarded as ‘bargaining chips’. It is shameful that the Prime Minister rejected repeated attempts to resolve this issue before Article 50 was triggered, which is one of the reasons I voted against it.
On 26 June 2017, the government finally published their proposals. They suggest that EU citizens with five years’ continuous residence (prior to a yet unspecified date) can apply for “settled status”.
EU citizens who have been in the UK for less than five years (from another unspecified date) will be allowed to stay in the UK with “temporary status” while they build up to the five years’ residency required for settled status. Building up the five years will mean accepting restrictions on leaving the country temporarily. This is all far too little too late.
Currently, the majority of the 3 million+ EU citizens in the UK do not need permission to live or work here. Under the proposal ALL will have to apply for “settled status.” This even applies to EU citizens who already have Permanent Residency (which requires a form of more than 80 pages) or those who have been here more than 20 years. Failure to do so would render an EU citizen unlawful and they would be committing a criminal offence by remaining in the UK after the agreed transition period. There will be an unknown level of fee to apply.
It is suggested that residents who gain “settled status” will be treated the same way as UK nationals in terms of benefits, pension, social security and access to public services, although unlike UK citizens they may need to show ID cards. But "settled status" would not give EU citizens the same family or legal rights they currently enjoy. For example, “settled status” would be lost after two years’ absence from the UK; there would be much stricter family reunion rules, and uncertainty about the right to vote in local elections.
As your representative in Parliament I want to know what you think about these proposals, and about how the current situation is affecting your life. It would be very helpful if you could fill in my survey here. I will use the results to campaign for full rights for EU citizens.
I will also do my best to resolve individual problems on your behalf. Please call my office on 020 8968 7999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on the proposals for EU citizens in UK: