The power balance in Parliament has shifted after the General Election. Laws impacting EU citizens can now be passed with little scrutiny and unamended.
First published in January 2020.
Disappointed but not surprised that the Government have voted down the amendment that would have provided EU/EEA citizens and their dependants with an automatic status as promised by the Prime Minister during the 2016 referendum campaign.
Despite such MPs as Stephen Doughty, Stuart McDonald, Paul Blomfield and Christine Jardin making the strongest case against the current EU Settlement Scheme application process the Government just put its fingers in its ears and ploughed on.
New Clause 5 to the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill was eventually defeated 342 votes to 252.
The Government knows that many EU/EEA citzens and their dependants will fail to apply through the EU Settlement Scheme. It knows that the consequences are dire for those who fail to apply. Brandon Lewis himself spelled out the consequences in October 2019.
The evidence that large numbers of EU/EEA citzens and their dependants will fail to apply through EU Settlement Scheme is overwhelming. The Government did not dispute this in Parliament yesterday but just glossed it over, with twisted rhetoric by Mr Lewis and Mrs Braverman designed to mislead.
The Government will have reprieve until July 2021, when the deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme passes. By that point it will not know how many EU/EEA citizens and their dependants have not applied, nor how many it will have stripped of their legal status without replacement.
This is the new reality in Parliament.
Laws impacting EU citizens can now be passed with little scrutiny and unamended as the Government sees fit – no matter the consequences.
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