ECONOMY

Calls for law change after post-Brexit residency deadline to protect EU citizens

T

he law should be changed to automatically protect the rights of EU citizens and their families who continue to live in the UK, campaigners say.

A “tweak” to legislation is needed to ensure they do not face discrimination at work, in getting housing, accessing healthcare and benefits after the deadline to apply for post-Brexit residency under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) passes on June 30, according to charities and campaign groups.

EU citizens and their families have been asked to apply to the Home Office scheme by the end of the month to confirm their immigration status in order to continue living and working in the UK now the Brexit transition period and freedom of movement has ended.

Despite calls for an extension to the scheme amid delays and difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic – and while there is a backlog of around 400,000 cases awaiting a decision – the Government has insisted this will not happen.

One woman, who has lived in the UK for 44 years, told the PA news agency the stress caused by trying to apply to the scheme has made her feel suicidal, while another said she has been made to feel like a “third-rate citizen” waiting months for a decision.

There will be lots of people who end up somewhere and will have no rights. They will be unlawful and there will be consequences. The deadline is not purely administrative, it’s punitive

At the same time, charities estimate that thousands of EU children living in the UK will become undocumented this week because applications are yet to be made on their behalf.

This comes after care groups warned that a substantial number of social care workers and their employers are not fully aware of the scheme and urged the Government to rethink its position amid concerns about the repercussions it could have on the sector.

Maike Bohn, co-founder of campaign group the3million, which seeks to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, said concerns remain about vulnerable people who could “slip through” the net and that the backlog of cases is “swelling upwards”.

She told PA: “There will be lots of people who end up somewhere and will have no rights. They will be unlawful and there will be consequences. The deadline is not purely administrative, it’s punitive.”

She said it would have been “absolutely right” to extend the deadline by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic but now the Government needs to “tweak” legislation to “make people legal from the 1st of July who can get status successfully later and that way they have protected everyone”.

Most Related Links :
Business News Governmental News Finance News

Need Your Help Today. Your $1 can change life.

[charitable_donation_form campaign_id=57167]

Source link

Back to top button