UK begins listing EU citizens amid uncertainty

- Reuters, LONDON

Jan 22, 2019-

Millions of EU citizens living in Britain can register from Monday for settled status after Brexit but a research group warned that many could still be left out in the cold and some EU nationals are attending support groups to cope with the stress.

Britain is home to about 3.5 million EU nationals and many of those will need to apply for inclusion on a new “settled status” register before July 2021 if they want to stay. Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29 this year.

Britain’s interior ministry on Monday began the first public testing of the registration system for all EU citizens who hold a valid passport and any non-EU citizen family members who hold a valid biometric residence card.

“From the very beginning we have been clear that securing the rights of EU citizens living in the UK is our priority,” immigration minister Caroline Nokes said, adding that the new settlement scheme would be “easy and straightforward” to use.

A private phase of testing of EU citizens working for health service trusts and universities in the north-west of England between November and December involved almost 30,000 applications and none were rejected.

However, research group British Future said the scheme could harm vulnerable groups such as the elderly and people with limited English or computer skills, and warned of a new Windrush scandal unless the government addressed its shortcomings.

Britain apologised last year for its “appalling” treatment of thousands of Caribbean migrants—the “Windrush generation”—who were denied basic rights after a tightening of immigration policy, despite having lived in the country for decades.

May to try to break Brexit deadlock

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May will try to break the Brexit deadlock on Monday by setting out proposals in parliament that are expected to focus on winning more concessions from the European Union.

With just over two months until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on March 29 there is no agreement in London on how and even whether it should leave the world’s biggest trading bloc. After her Brexit divorce deal was rejected by lawmakers last week, May has been looking for a way to get a deal through parliament, in vain.

Published: 22-01-2019 09:03

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