In case of no-deal Brexit, EU citizens’ rights will not be protected, the3million writes.
I often speak to the civil servants in charge of the Settled Status scheme, and they should be praised for designing and implementing a technological solution that is a complete revolution from the ‘not-fit-purpose’ Permanent Residence registration scheme. They are working toward an impossible deadline if we are honest.
But I am really infuriated by the politicians who have used Brexit to push 3.8 million EU citizens in the murky waters of UK immigration law. The forthcoming Immigration Bill is the next battle ground.
The bill will end Freedom of Movement, and allow the Home Office to regulate our lives using regulations (also known as secondary legislation), including the rules for applying for Settled Status, or the criteria for residency.
As you know, the Windrush scandal happened following changes to immigration rules using regulations, and this lack of long-term guarantee is the No.1 concern of EU citizens, according to the result of a survey we published.
If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified, or if the chapter on citizens’ rights is ring-fenced, most of our rights will be protected under a treaty, with the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) applying for another 8 years, so there cannot be any deviation from the Agreement.
In case of no-deal, our rights will not be protected as promised by the Prime Minister, as per the excellent article in the Guardian, in which my friend Maike Bohn said:
“The EU had made “a political choice to avoid cherry-picking”, namely separate agreements on different issues that would give the UK more scope to break the unity of member states.”
“But people are not cars, nor cherries to be picked and negotiations have officially concluded. There is a moral obligation to protect the rights for a finite group of five million people who got caught up in this messy divorce. And time is running out.”
Instead, we will solely rely on the rights granted to us under the Immigration Bill, without any long-term guarantee.🔷
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(This piece was originally published on the3million newsletter. | The author writes in a personal capacity.)