EU citizens claim they are at risk of being deported from the United Kingdom. Lords criticize Brexit and urge action
Priti Patel’s EU settled status plan has been slammed by pro-Brexit peers, who warn that poor and elderly Europeans are at risk of being deported from the UK.
More than 5.4 million people applied for the Home Office initiative, which aims to provide resident rights to EU nationals living in the UK after Brexit. The total is significantly larger than anticipated.
Anyone who has lived in the UK continuously for five years is eligible for settled status.
Joo Vale de Almeida, the EU Ambassador to the United Kingdom, lauded the initiative as “extremely good, even excellent” and “went beyond our expectations.”
However, a House of Lords committee has warned that due to deficiencies in the programme, EU retirees in the UK may lose their entitlements.
Only a small percentage of applications come from over-65s, according to peers, who risk losing their rights and benefits if the situation is not resolved.
“We are worried by the low share of applications from older EU citizens, who are particularly vulnerable to digital exclusion,” the European Affairs Committee report cautions.
“Around 2% of all Settlement Scheme applications come from those over the age of 65.
“Some witnesses speculated that this could be a sign of low take-up.
“We demand that the government clarify whether it shares these concerns, and if so, what steps it plans to take to guarantee that over-65s are assisted in submitting late applications.”
“The greatest way to defend the rights of the vulnerable is to ensure that late applicants are protected,” it continues.
“While we applaud the inclusion of a variety of vulnerabilities as potential ‘reasonable grounds’ for late applications in current Home Office guidance, we remain worried that these safeguards may not be sufficient.”
The EU Settlement Scheme began on March 30th, 2019 and ended on June 30th, 2021.
Ministers had expected to stop the scheme’s applications in June 2020, but they extended the deadline by a year to give EU citizens more time to apply.
To encourage people to apply, the Home Office spent nearly £8 million on advertising.
The agency has also promised to work with anyone who was eligible but did not apply by the deadline of July 1 and to assist them in completing a late application.
“We’ll set up the support and direct folks to fill out an application, but we recognize that there may be issues.”Brinkwire Summary News”.