Last week has flown by, and it was in the back of my mind that you are probably waiting for your latest #CitizensRights news.
The last seven days have been eventful in Westminster, increasing the possibility of a no deal and we are as determined as ever to promote the only solution we believe would work for all EU/EEA citizens in the UK and their non-EU spouses and partners, one where we all stay, with lifelong guarantees for all our rights. Lessons must be learned, and we cannot be treated like the Windrush generation in 2, 10, 20 or 50 years.
On 21 June, the UK Government published a statement of intent, which was a detailed draft paper about settled status. Our team of pro-bono lawyers and university professors analysed the document, and we responded to the Home Office with this 17-page document. (note: it is probably our best policy document ever!)
We then revisited our questions to the Home Office, and we now have 162 questions (up 12 from our latest version in June).
Based on the Statement of Intent, 19% of the questions have been answered, using a similar traffic lights system to the one used by the UK Government and the European Commission when they were publishing updates about the negotiations on citizens’ rights.
Next week, Sajid Javid is hosting a reception at the Home Office to present a communications tool to embassies, NGOs and representatives of EU communities.
The invite reads:
During the evening next Tuesday, you will be presented with a new communications toolkit, which has been designed in collaboration with our partners, to equip you with the right tools to support EU citizens in your organisation or network.
The EU Settlement Scheme will allow EU citizens and their family members to continue to live and work in the UK as they do now — with ongoing rights to healthcare and access to benefits and public services protected.
This is very well and we are all looking forward to continue to live and work in the UK as we do now, but I feel the Home Office is dodging the issues we are raising through our 162 questions. Instead, they are planning to launch the scheme prematurely.
To paraphrase the PM, let it be clear that it would be totally unacceptable if settled status (i.e. the settlement scheme) would go ahead before all the questions are answered.
This is also what the French Parliament asked the British Government, in their latest Brexit report.
The French parliamentarians went to Dublin, to the Irish border, to Belfast and to London, and hosting hearing with EU citizens in Paris to understand the situation with clarity.
The report asks for the UK Government to formally answer the questions of the3million, as promised by Brexit minister Robin Walker during their London visit, as well as putting in place a protocol to set the rights of EU citizens in law.
You can download the report (in French).
Finally, I would like to make you aware of this hilarious yet sad video by comedian David Schneider.
YouTube/EU Citizens’ Champion campaign
The video is part of a new campaign called EU Citizens Champions built by the wonderful Tanja Bueltmann to financially support the3million in developing and managing the future information campaign we will do, so EU citizens can make an informed decision before making a settled status application.
Please share widely, especially with your British friends, partners and family.🔷
Full analysis of the Statement of Intent.
Following the publication of the "EU Settlement Scheme: Statement of Intent" (SOI) by the UK Home Office on 21stJune 2018, we are pleased to share with you a detailed analysis of the document and of the accompanying draft Immigration Rules by the3million.
We have also updated our 150 Questions document (now 162 questions) showing which questions have been addressed and which are still unclear or outstanding.
Whilst the3million welcomes the publication of the Statement of Intent and the draft Rules, and acknowledge some positives (for example a waived or reduced fee in some circumstances, and a promise to contact applicants in order to remedy an application that is not valid or complete), we remain deeply concerned that citizens' rights have not been safeguarded.
Our analysis paper outlines our most pressing concerns regarding:
The legal uncertainty which both the SOI and the draft Rules, and thus our future status and rights, are still premised on despite all the political promises.
The transparency and fairness of the application process, which is still likely to penalise thousands of EU citizens among the hardest to reach and those in the most precarious and vulnerable circumstances.
The overall inclusiveness of the proposed Settlement Scheme given the unprecedented scale and nature of the challenge ahead and of the very serious consequences for people if, for any reason, they will not be granted a new immigration status under the scheme.
As you will see from our 162 questions document, which has been colour coded for ease of reference, most of the questions we have posed to the Home Office regarding the Settlement Scheme still remain unanswered. This is very concerning and does not bode well for the successful implementation of the scheme.
In essence, we are still not reassured
that our future status and rights will indeed be as ‘settled’ or permanent as was promised;
that all who are eligible for the new status will be able to obtain it through an “easy three-step” application process before the end of the ‘grace’ period on 30 June 2021;
and that many will not be discriminated against and fall into the UK ‘hostile environment’ either before or after obtaining settled status.
Tweet this story now:
(This piece was originally published on the3million newsletter.)