Today, the British Government and the European Union has agreed on a #BrexitDeal on citizens' rights. This is the3million's official statement (the3million is the largest grassroots organisation of EU citizens living in the UK).
Today’s agreement on ‘sufficient progress’ has not reassured EU citizens living in the UK according to citizens’ rights group the3million.
There is some progress on the substance of rights but some of the concessions come with a time limit. The agreement looks like a flawed compromise and there is still, after all this time, uncertainty over who will qualify for these lesser rights post-Brexit.
Nicolas Hatton, Chair of the3million says: “Our rights should not have an expiry date. More worryingly, there is still no clarity around the registration criteria for these rights. There are a huge number of people still in the dark about whether they will qualify or not. Hundreds and thousands of them might get a letter that they have to go.”
The agreement does give some legal guarantees (citizens' rights incorporated in the withdrawal treaty and in primary legislation) and a cut-off date, but some rights are limited in time (the ECJ protection to last for 8 years, the right to return for 5). What worries campaigners most of all is that this agreement also greenlights the UK’s settled status proposal.
This requires over three million people to apply for the right to stay instead of being granted residence rights.
The current registration system has an error rate of 10% and a rejection rate of 27%. This is likely to go up significantly when three million people have to apply for settled status.
Considering the constraints of the Home Office and its current Hostile Environment policy (www.the3million.org.uk/hostile-environment) the3million is worried that the EU citizens most at risk such as carers, people with disability or the elderly will struggle while anybody could be at the receiving end of an erroneous deportation letter.
The3million have put forward a viable, workable alternative proposal for registration (www.the3million.org.uk/publications).🔷
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