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EU citizens’ fury at ‘failing’ scheme to let them stay here after Brexit

EU citizens’ fury at ‘failing’ scheme to let them stay here after Brexit as MPs brand the programme ‘shambolic’

  • EU nationals who are given ‘settled status’ can stay in UK for the rest of their lives
  • Campaigners and MPs claim that genuine candidates have been turned away
  • More than a million EU nationals had been approved by earlier this month

A scheme to hand full residency rights to 3.8million EU citizens after Brexit was at the centre of a political storm last night.

Under the EU Settlement Scheme, those residing in the UK will be given permission to stay for the rest of their lives.

The Home Office programme means they would enjoy full access to work, schools, hospitals, pensions and benefits.

Even in the event of No Deal, EU citizens living here on October 31 will still have until December 2020 to apply. The process requires verification of the applicant’s identity and nationality using a passport, ID card or other document [File photo]

By earlier this month more than a million EU nationals had been approved – and not a single applicant rejected outright.

But MPs and campaigners claim the scheme is ‘shambolic’ and ‘failing’, insisting that genuine candidates have been turned away despite living in Britain for decades.

Tory MEP Daniel Hannan said in a statement: ‘I have had constituency cases of EU nationals being denied settled status despite living here for years. This is a breach of the assurances I and other Leavers gave during the referendum.’

Anyone from the EU who has been resident for a shorter period will qualify for ‘pre-settled status’ and be allowed to stay on until they have reached the five-year threshold. They can then apply for settled status [File photo]

Anyone from the EU who has been resident for a shorter period will qualify for ‘pre-settled status’ and be allowed to stay on until they have reached the five-year threshold. They can then apply for settled status [File photo]

In an appeal to the Home Secretary, he urged Priti Patel to ‘help sort this out… before we end up with another Windrush scandal’ – a reference to the immigration fiasco when Commonwealth migrants living here legally were wrongly booted out, detained or stripped of their homes and jobs.

Tory MP Alberto Costa urged Mrs Patel and Boris Johnson to pass a new law guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit.

He added that there were also ‘technical and procedural issues’ with the scheme. 

There have been claims that the system is confusing, with several examples of applicants providing the wrong information or seeking the wrong status.

Under the scheme, EU citizens who have lived in the UK lawfully for at least five years will be granted ‘settled status’. This can be transferred into citizenship at a later date.

Anyone from the EU who has been resident for a shorter period will qualify for ‘pre-settled status’ and be allowed to stay on until they have reached the five-year threshold. They can then apply for settled status.

‘Wrong button’ landed French chef in hot water

A French chef who has lived in Britain since 1988 was denied settled status because ‘the wrong button’ had been pressed on his application.

Richard Bertinet, who runs the Bertinet Cookery School in Bath, was granted only pre-settled status, given to those who have lived in the UK for less than five years.

He was told that he would have to apply again for the right to remain permanently once this had elapsed.

After he wrote about the situation on Twitter, the Home Office informed him that the ‘wrong button’ had been pushed during the application process and if he applied again he would be successful.

‘The whole system appears to be a shambles,’ Mr Bertinet, whose wife and three children all hold British passports, told The Caterer magazine. 

‘I was contacted by many people in exactly the same position.’

Mr Bertinet, from Brittany, has won many awards for his cookery books and makes regular appearances on TV.

Richard Bertinet, who runs the Bertinet Cookery School in Bath, was granted only pre-settled status, given to those who have lived in the UK for less than five years

Richard Bertinet, who runs the Bertinet Cookery School in Bath, was granted only pre-settled status, given to those who have lived in the UK for less than five years

Even in the event of No Deal, EU citizens living here on October 31 will still have until December 2020 to apply.

The process requires verification of the applicant’s identity and nationality using a passport, ID card or other document. 

The Home Office checks tax, employment and benefits records to confirm proof of residence. All applications are checked against security databases.

The Home Office said EU citizens’ rights were enshrined by the EU Settlement Scheme and the UK’s immigration rules.

The department has spent £170million on the scheme and has more than 1,500 staff dedicated to helping applicants.

A spokesman said: ‘Statistics confirm that by the end of June not a single person had been refused. EU citizens are our friends, family and neighbours and we want them to stay.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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