Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness, has welcomed assurances from the Immigration Minister on the Government’s new settlement scheme for EU citizens resident in the UK following Brexit.
New plans outlined in the Commons on 21st June confirmed that EU citizens living in the UK will need to apply under the settlement scheme to obtain their new UK immigration status. Those applying will need to prove their identity, show that that they live in the UK, and declare that they have no serious criminal convictions. The proposed application fee is £65 and £32.50 for a child under 16. For those who already have valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain documentation, they will be able to exchange it for settled status free of charge. The scheme will phase in from later this year, and will be fully open by 30th March 2019.
In the Government’s statement to Parliament on the scheme, Matt highlighted the high proportion of eastern European migrants living in Boston and Skegness, and that he has met with a number of European ambassadors as a result of this large community in his constituency. He asked the Immigration Minister,
“Can she reassure me that she will work with ambassadors and embassies, so that we provide information to communities through as many avenues as possible and get this right?”
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes MP assured Matt that she has already been engaging with a range of EU ambassadors, and will continue to do so as part of the Government’s communications plan for the scheme. She said,
“It is crucial that EU communities, wherever they live in the country, have the opportunity to know what the scheme is about and to understand it. Today, I have published an op-ed piece in a Polish newspaper. There will continue to be significant engagement with foreign newspapers.”
Afterwards, Matt commented,
“I was pleased to have the Immigration Minister’s assurances that she will use a range of measures to communicate this new scheme. I know that many EU citizens living in Boston and Skegness have had concerns about their residence status in the UK after Brexit, and I hope the Government’s clarifications on the simple steps they will need to take to obtain their new immigration status offers some reassurance. If any constituents need assistance with registering once the scheme is open, I would encourage them to contact me so that I can help.”
Matt’s question can be read in full here.
More information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here.