EU citizens living in the UK should look forward with optimism to the expansion of a promising new scheme to confirm their ‘settled status’ after Brexit, Matt Warman MP has said in a debate he led in Parliament.
In the Westminster Hall debate on 27th November, Matt highlighted concerns among his constituents who are from other European countries about their status in the UK after Brexit, but noted that the EU settled status scheme is “a formality that will provide certainty and the necessary paperwork to confirm the fact that they live here, are welcome to stay, and will continue—we all hope—to be active and vibrant parts of our communities.”
“We as a House of Commons should do everything we can to reassure them that they are welcome in the communities in which they have settled and that the Government will not put unnecessary barriers in the way of their future life in this country.”
He also noted the success of the scheme’s systems, which are linked to HMRC to allow people who have the necessary continuous residency in the UK to demonstrate they have settled status, while urging the Government to ensure that it supports more vulnerable applicants who may not easily be able to use the internet.
Answering the debate, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes explained that “the scheme is a simple and streamlined application process, which draws on existing Government data and processes to minimise the burden on applicants.” She confirmed that the scheme is already open for beta testing, well ahead of EU exit day, and the average time taken to reach a decision on an application has been under nine days.
Adding to Matt’s sentiments, the Minister also said, “EU citizens make a huge contribution to our economy and communities. It is not just that they can stay, but that we want them to stay.”
After the debate, Matt commented,
“I was pleased to secure this debate so as to help provide reassurance to EU nationals in my constituency, and across the country, who have made the UK home that we want them to stay here after Brexit, and will do all we can to help facilitate that. As I said in the debate, we recognise the many contributions EU nationals make to society and our economy, and the scheme will help deliver the peace of mind they deserve for their status in the UK after Brexit.”
- Matt’s debate can be read in full via the following link: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-11-27/debates/AE2C5A30-BC54-494A-AF38-318786EFE489/EUSettledStatusScheme#contribution-57CAD8ED-F5AA-4AE5-A257-1EB2CF260D9D
- Information about the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families