the3million update on the situation with the scandal of EU citizens being denied their right to vote in the European Elections.




I am delighted to announce that thanks to your support, the fundraising for Phase 1 of our potential legal challenge about the #DeniedMyVote scandal is now complete.

Huge shout out to the 1,571 donors who donated £40,095 to fund the assessment and preparation phase of the legal challenge. the3million and British in Europe are overwhelmed to have such support, at a time when five million EU citizens in the UK and Brits in the EU need it the most.

What happens next?

We need as many examples of people having been denied their vote. If you were affected last Thursday, please tell your story at www.the3million.org.uk/deniedmyvote or promote the page if know someone who was affected.

Our team of expert public law practitioners and researchers will go through the testimonials, and assess the best legal options to successfully challenge the Government. This will take about two to three weeks before we can make the decision whether to proceed with the legal challenge and start Funding Phase 2.

We will keep you updated so please watch this space!

The Electoral Commission replies

This week, the Electoral Commission replied to those who complained about this scandalous situation. The email starts with “We note that there has been a campaign coordinated by The3million...”, which made us quite furious, considering hundreds of EU citizens contacted us about not being able to vote, and all we did was to offer a template letter with their contact details.

If there was a campaign, it was one to prevent EU citizens from voting, full stop!

We also received their reply to our own complain, which you can read here.

Petition for a public enquiry

On Wednesday, EU citizen Paul Berhens started a petition calling for a public enquiy into the #DeniedMyVote scandal. In 2016, we were disenfranchised for the EU referendum, so it is a national disgrace that some of us were prevented from voting again in the 2019 European elections. We at the3million fully endorse it and I urge you to sign it and share it. Please note that public enquiries are usually free, so there is no need to fundraise.

Home Affairs report on settled status

Yesterday, the Home Affairs committee published a report about Settled Status and its implementation by the Home Office. The 160-page report is very detailed, and includes 9 pages of conclusion. Our analyst Axel Antoni has gone through the report to pick highlights and key elements. See the summary:

Latest Home Office data

Also today, the Home Office published its latest update on the Settled Status scheme. 750,000 EU citizens have applied so far and it is encouraging to see that the government is currently hitting the target of 5,000 a day needed to process all 3.7 million EU citizens before the deadline of June 2021.

We expected a surge of applications at the beginning and the government must now maintain this pace. Hundreds of thousands of EU citizens risk losing their legal rights to stay in the UK beyond June 2021 if the government fails to maintain the current application rate.

As today’s Home Affairs committee report alluded to, people who legally reside in the UK should have those rights written in law now and the system be changed from an application to a simple registration – to avoid a potential repeat of the Windrush scandal.

It is clear that the easy and straightforward cases will apply first. We worry about the hard to reach and at risk.🔷



 

Did you know the3million is the leading non-profit organisation of EU citizens in the UK? We are grateful of your support, as we simply could not have campaigned for citizens’ rights over the last 24 months without you. If you can afford it, please become a paying supporter today to allow the campaign to continue for the next 24 months and beyond if necessary.

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[This piece was originally published on the3million newsletter. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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THE AUTHOR

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the3million is the largest group of EU citizens in the UK, with a team of 50-ish active volunteers working on advocacy, policy, legal, media, social media, grassroots and events.