Kirkcaldy MP's urgent call to PM to grant automatic settled status to all EU citizens
A Kirkcaldy MP is co-ordinating a cross-party campaign warning that tens of thousands of EU citizens are at risk of becoming undocumented - unless the Prime Minister lifts June EU Settlement Scheme deadline.
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP, Neale Hanvey has secured the support of over 50 parliamentarians from all parties across both houses for his campaign that is urging the Prime Minister to take immediate action and lift the EU Settlement Scheme deadline, which is fast approaching on June 30.
MPs and peers say the Home Office’s outreach and advertising campaign has failed to reach sufficient numbers of EU citizens amidst a pandemic that has severely disrupted support services.
Mr Hanvey and his supporters say that unless the deadline is lifted and the cliff-edge removed, significant numbers of EU citizens will be forced out of status and rights overnight.
If even one per cent of the estimated four million EU citizens resident in the UK are unable to apply, tens of thousands of people will become undocumented and left vulnerable to Hostile Environment policies, including detention and removal.
234,000 EU citizens live in Scotland, accounting for 6.3% of the Scottish population.
Mr Hanvey said: “Some of the most vulnerable EU citizens who chose to make the UK their home now face an utterly intolerable situation – one that the Prime Minister personally promised would not come to pass.
"That is why I led this cross-party letter to put pressure on the Prime Minister and his government to do the right thing for my constituents and for the many EU citizens who live across these islands.
“This issue drives to the very heart of who we want to be as a society and the relationship we hope to have with our European neighbours.
"The UK Government cannot claim to be extending a hand of friendship to the world when in the early days of a Brexit Scotland didn’t vote for, they remove rights and status from EU citizens who have simply missed an administrative deadline for settled status.
“These people will become fair game for the kind of impersonal and aggressive approach of this Government’s hostile environment fostered upon them by the Home Office.”