First published in January 2021.

We always knew this year would be tough. But we are ready!

Once again, the UK Government refused to listen to those affected by Brexit and the3million has no option but to look to challenge them in court for not issuing people with a physical proof of their (pre-) settled status.

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In September 2020, the UK Government refused to listen to our concerns, as we warned them of risks of discrimination if they didn’t issue a physical document to the millions of EU citizens who have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme to stay in the UK after Brexit.

The Immigration and Social Security Coordination Act 2020 passed without granting EU citizens a right to physical proof of their pre-settled or settled status, making us rely on a purely digital status instead.

The lack of physical proof is failing people

We are now seeing increasing examples of where the lack of physical proof is failing people, unable for example to open a bank account because many providers demand a physical document.

“I have entered my details on the government website numerous times in order to view my status as I will need to prove it soon but the system says that the details entered ‘don’t match our records’. I’m extremely worried about my status now, and anxious as I will need to prove my status soon in order to be enrolled at college.”

“After entering my details and security code I got a message saying ‘there is a problem with this service at the moment, try again later.’ I feel worried now that this can happen when I need it for rent, work or even travelling back into the UK. This is very unsettling and has caused my anxiety to get worse.”

While many services today have a digital offering, these services all have a physical fallback for those who are unable to go digital.

Brexit affects every EU citizen in the UK. | EUdelegationUK

People can still pay for their car tax at a post office. Despite online banking, it is thankfully still possible for people to use coins to pay for their newspaper at the corner shop.

Yet for this vitally important proof of immigration status, which can determine your rights to rent, to work, to healthcare, to help from the state, there is no physical fallback.

Pledge today!

the3million has so far written a letter to the UK Government setting out our legal argument and why it is so important they give EU citizens the option of a physical proof of their status. If the Government do not reply favourably, we will be forced to issue a claim for judicial review.

We need to fundraise a minimum of £10,000 before issuing a claim on 18 February.

Please pledge to support the case now!

With your support, we can rectify this injustice.  

Nicolas Hatton, Founder of the3million to protect #citizensrights.
The3million, the largest group of EU citizens in the UK, with volunteers working on advocacy, policy, legal, media, social media, grassroots and events.


Did you know the3million is the leading non-profit organisation of EU citizens in the UK? If you can help their campaign to continue, you can:


[This piece was originally published in the3million newsletter and re-published in PMP Magazine on 31 January 2021, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: EUdelegationUK. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)