Government's plans for EU nationals' rights - our thoughts

Rights of people living/working in the UK who happen to be EU nationals

The Government has recently announced that all 3 million EU citizens resident in Britain will have to apply for inclusion on a “settled status” register if they want to stay in the country after Brexit.

Those living in the UK for at least five years will have two years to apply for “settled status”. Any EU citizens who arrived before the cut-off point will be given “blanket permission” to stay for around 2 years, and then will be able to gain “settled status” when they’ve been here for 5 years in total. During that two year “blanket permission” period, they will need to apply for a temporary residence document from the Home Office, and then again for "settled status" when they've been here for 5 years.

We say: this offers little in the way of reassurance to EU citizens who have made Britain their home, and continues to use them as bargaining chips. It also risks the rights of Brits abroad.

The background to this shameful proposal -

Earlier this year Conservative MPs (including Wimbledon’s MP Stephen Hammond) voted against guaranteeing the rights of our friends, family members and neighbours who happen to be EU nationals living and working in the UK.

But in his election literature, Mr Hammond claimed he had single-handedly guaranteed EU nationals’ rights to live and work in the UK after Brexit. At the time, a group of local lawyers and legal professionals wrote to the local papers to challenge this misleading claim.

Independent website Theyworkforyou.com states that “Stephen Hammond almost always voted against a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK”.

Nearly 1000 people have signed our petition calling on Merton’s MPs to do more – you can sign it here.