The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to grant EU citizens the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need, as new Home Office figures reveal thousands are being refused and 1.8 million have not been granted the right to stay permanently.
The latest EU Settlement Scheme statistics, which were published this morning, revealed 16,600 people have been refused Settled Status – including 5,700 in September alone. They also revealed that 1.6 million have only been granted temporary ‘Pre-Settled Status’ and 180,000 are still waiting for a decision.
On Monday, the House of Lords passed a Liberal Democrat amendment to the Government’s Immigration Bill which would require the Government to provide EU citizens with physical proof of their Settled Status. The party is urging Conservative MPs not to overturn that amendment when the Bill returns to the Commons.
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said: “EU citizens in the UK – our families and friends – have been living under a cloud of uncertainty for far too long. They must have the right to stay.
“Boris Johnson and the Conservatives promised to automatically guarantee the rights of EU citizens to stay, but they have broken that promise, as they have with so many others.
“This Government’s botched scheme is anything but automatic and, without physical proof of their rights, EU citizens will be at the mercy of the Conservatives’ Hostile Environment.
“To prevent a new Windrush-style scandal, Liberal Democrats are fighting for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need.”