Govt announcement on settlement fees ‘leaves out too many Armed Forces personnel’

Liberal Democrat Defence Spokesperson Jamie Stone MP has welcomed the Government’s announcement that settlement fees will be waived for foreign nationals who have served in the UK Armed Forces for at least six years, but says it will still leave many service personnel facing “excessive fees”.

The Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for several years for these fees to be waived for members of the Armed Forces and their families. In 2019, Jamie Stone and party leader Ed Davey MP tabled a Private Members’ Bill to force the government to do so, as well as a parliamentary motion that secured wide cross-party support.

Jamie Stone MP, Liberal Democrat Defence Spokesperson said: “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude and respect to all those who serve our country and keep us safe. The fact that so many brave veterans are forced to take out huge debts or denied their right to live in the UK because of excessive Home Office fees is a scandal, and I am glad we have finally forced the Government to act.

Jamie Stone

“However, limiting the waiver only to those who have served six years or more will leave many veterans still facing thousands of pounds in fees. I urge Ministers to go further, and
waive them for all those with the right to settle in the UK.

“Anyone who has put their lives at risk to defend our country should be free to live in it.”

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