Lib Dems call on PM to back automatic rights for EU citizens
The Liberal Democrats have called on the Conservative Government to back legislation to guarantee automatic rights for EU citizens, as new official statistics show the number not granted permanent Settled Status has risen to more than 1 million.
Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates this week tabled amendments to the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill to automatically guarantee EU citizens’ rights in law.
The latest EU Settlement Scheme Statistics, published yesterday by the Home Office, show that more than 1 million EU citizens have now been given the weaker “Pre-Settled Status”. This means that they will have to reapply for the right to stay in the UK within 5 years, while a further 16,000 have not been granted either status.
The figures show that, as of the end of 2019, just 1.43 million of the estimated 3.6 million EU citizens living in the UK have been granted Settled Status.
Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:
“EU citizens are our families and friends, our colleagues and carers. Boris Johnson promised to automatically guarantee their rights in law, but today’s figures show that his Government’s Settled Status scheme is anything but automatic.
“Unless the Government changes course, tens of thousands of EU citizens will be left without legal rights in less than 18 months – at risk of eviction, detention and deportation.
“Liberal Democrats are fighting for the rights of EU citizens. We are calling on Boris Johnson to honour his promise by backing our amendments next week.”