Earlier this week I met a young couple from Italy. They, along with nearly 600,000 others, have been given Pre-Settled Status, which only gives them Limited Leave to Remain in the UK for five years. Then, as they told me, they “will have to re-apply and we’ll see what happens”!
Less than 1 million people out of 3.6 million EU citizens had been given Settled Status by the end of September. This is despite Boris Johnson promising that their rights would be automatically guaranteed in law. Late last week Brandon Lewis confirmed what we’ve known all along: Boris Johnson has no intention of keeping this promise. EU citizens with some status could be deported.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Christine Jardine said:
“If the Conservatives carry on with their Brexit plans, thousands of EU citizens will miss out on Settled Status and be left vulnerable to the Tories’ Hostile Environment. Brexit will create an even bigger Windrush-style scandal.
“Hundreds of thousands are being given second-class ‘Pre-Settled Status’, which means they will face a new cliff-edge in five years. That’s another disaster waiting to happen.
“The Liberal Democrats demand better for EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU. We will stop this awful chaos and uncertainty by stopping Brexit, and guarantee your rights to live, work and study where you choose by saving free movement.”
Whenever I meet them I reassure EU citizens that they are welcome in the UK - they are our friends and neighbours, our carers and families. That’s why I continue to fight to #makeitstop.