Dear fellow EU citizen,
This week, we wrote to all Conservative Party candidates asking them to honour the promises made during the referendum campaign to EU citizens in the UK and Brits abroad.
The letter starts like this:
Healing a divided country will be uppermost in your mind as you think about your first, key decisions if you become Prime Minister.
There is one easy decision that you could make to build a positive future for Britain: to honour the promises that citizens’ rights would be protected in a fair and meaningful way. British in Europe and the3million represent over five million people who still have no guarantee that their futures are secure after nearly three years. By acting swiftly, you can finally give them certainty and moral support.
You can make sure that there will never be a Windrush-style scandal for EU citizens by supporting our “registration, not application” proposal for a new immigration status after Brexit. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it would also send a strong signal to EU27 countries as they consider the systems they put in place for UK citizens in their countries…
You can download the full letter here
On Wednesday, I spoke in Parliament on behalf of the3million at the Eurochildren reports launch event.
Eurochildren is a project led by Birmingham University Professor Nando Sigona, to study the impact of Brexit on EU families and children. Migrant Voice, the3million and immigration barrister Colin Yeowere partners on this crucial research project.
Firstly, I want to thank Preet Gill MP for hosting the public meeting, Nando Sigona for inviting the3million into the Eurochildren research project and Anne-Laure Donskoy, who has now left the3million but dedicated many hours to this project.
Brexit has thrown many EU families into disarray, as they ponder their future in a country which has become ambivalent about Europe and immigration.
For example, so many EU parents do not realise that their British born children won't automatically become British, causing all sorts of worries and cost when they try to get them a British passport.
This research is important, as it looks at the factors and motivations driving the naturalisation of EU citizens, and should be looked at carefully by British politicians, as they are considering how Britain will manage the hundreds of thousands of EU families living in the UK after Brexit.
What strikes me is that the research formalised what we at the3million have been hearing for the last three years from EU citizens across the UK, and people feel threatened in the country they call home.
I urge MPs and parliamentarians to read the reports and understand how we feel as EU citizens living in the UK.
At the end of the day, the UK is our home, and we need a lifelong guarantee about our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Windrush is on everybody’s mind, and the changes needed are not being acknowledged by the Government at the moment to prevent another scandal in the future.
- Settled status to be a registration, not an application
- EU citizens to have a physical document proving their status rather than being guinea pigs in a digital-only system whose databases are shrouded in secrecy
- Reduced barriers to British Citizenship for all, especially for EU children
- No Windrush 2.0 for EU citizens in the UK
This is our home. Share the love!
, founder member of the3million
, the EU citizens' campaign group
the3million is a not for profit organisation formed by EU citizens after the Brexit referendum to protect the lives of EU citizens who made the UK their home. We rely on donations to run the campaign to retain our existing rights, and make the Settled Status system as easy as possible for everyone.
Please consider becoming a paying supporter today
. Starts at £2.50 per month. Alternatively, you can donate to our GoFundMe fundraiser
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Tweets of the week
In the news
EU nationals missing out on election vote left ‘voiceless’
source: The Big Issue
More EU citizens are seeking help for stress and anxiety over Brexit
source: The Guardian
Thousands of EU nationals could miss deadline to stay in post-Brexit Scotland
source: The National
Cambridge MP slams Government for refusing to apologise to EEA citizens denied votes in EU Elections
We recommend you follow the3million and Europe Street News on Twitter to have the latest news about citizens' rights across Europe
Thank you to Axel Antoni for summarising the report in 9 key highlights and conclusions . This is a must-read for anybody interested in the issue of Settled Status and its implementation by the Home Office.
The powerful Home Affairs Committee (UK Parliament) reported on the EU Settlement Scheme yesterday.
A lengthy report looking at EU #citizensrights post Brexit, the Settled Status scheme & the risk of creating another Windrush Scandal if the Government does not act now.
The report includes 9 pages of conclusions and recommendations. We are trying to pick the highlights in this post:
1. The Committee criticises the Government for not answering the 181 questions on the Settled Status scheme we, the3million, have asked the Home Office over 12 months ago. We are still awaiting a clear answer to those questions, instead of being referred to a series of guidance and wordy documents no-one has time to decifer.
The Home Office has currently 12 guidance documents listed at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-applicant-information !!!
2. The Home Affairs Committee calls for the EU Settled Status telephone helpline to be free.
Their call centre number is 0300 123 7379, which is chargeable by landline and mobile operators
3. The report warns about the consequences of the current Settled Status process in case of a no-deal Brexit. Leaving EU citizens with no status after Freedom of Movement ends (currently scheduled for 31 October 2019) and them successfully applying for the new status (the scheme will be open till 31 December 2020).
The Parliamentarians also express concerns about the #HostileEnvironment
4. Next the report criticises Settled Status is based on an application process, not a simple registration, and they are saying that it will create another #Windrush scandal due to its application cliff edge in 2021
The Home Affairs committee is asking how the Government is going to deal with those EU citizens who will miss the application deadline. What their legal status will be and how they will avoid another Windrush scandal?
To avoid EU citizens who currently reside in the UK legally losing their right to continue to live in their home, the Committee urges the Government to write the rights into law now and change the process from application to registration.
5. The report also puts forward a strong case for providing proof of status not only digitally but also as a physical document.
6. The report criticises that the Home Office has not done enough to to increase awareness of the scheme and the length of time it has taken to provide certainty to some of affected groups
On the more at risk groups the Committee points out areas of concern:
▪️Children/homeless/victims of domestic violence & trafficking
They ask the Governmentt to work with a wide range of public bodies to minimise the risks.
7. Though the committee acknowledges that so far all EU citizens applicants have received a status, it questions whether all have received the correct status.
It challenges the Home Office to provide a process & monitoring that ensures all applicants receive the correct status.
8. On Pre-Settled Status the Committee rightly points out that the process creates individual cliff edges after 5 years when EU citizens must apply again for Settled Status. The committee recommends processes in place to ensure that these applications happen.
On losing the status the committee asks for the Home Office to explain the process that it will implement to determine loss of status due to prolonged absence.
9. Finally, in light of the Windrush Scandal, the Committee points out that the Home Office has a long way to regain trust. And that
▪️Functioning IT systems
are a must to achieve this
Any comments or further analysis, please leave a comment below 🙂
Link to the report:
Events near you
Check this website to find out about information events about settled status near you: http://www.eurights.uk/events
We have partnered with the European Commission in the UK and Here for Good to provide simple information about your rights as an EU citizen living in the UK. Click on the link below to find out more: