As we enter the final month for EU citizens to claim settled status the Green Party is warning that many EU citizens may end up without secure residence status.
Former Green MEP Molly Scott Cato said:
‘As an MEP I met many people who have lived in our community for 40 or more years, spent their working lives here, and raised their families here. Many simply take it for granted that they have the right to stay in the communities where they have spent their lives and do not realise that they need to go through a bureaucratic process to guarantee that right.
‘While the publication by the Home Office of Reasonable Grounds to have delayed application to the scheme is welcome, the creation of a hostile environment for EU citizens through aggressive treatment at the border is likely to undermine their confidence that they will receive a fair hearing.
‘The Home Office must step up its information campaign actively encouraging EU citizens to apply for the settled status scheme, especially after refusing to extend the deadline despite Covid making it harder for some people to apply. At a local level, each council should appoint a councillor to take responsibility for the rights of EU citizens resident in the UK, just like Greens have done in Brighton and Hove. And EU citizens’ demand for a paper document to prove their immigration status should be urgently responded to.
Dr Scott Cato concluded:
‘The combination of an underpowered advertising campaign and increased and aggressive checks on EU travellers ahead of the deadline has created unnecessary anxiety amongst EU citizens permanently resident in the UK. The government has failed in its duty to protect these people who have given our country so much.’