Migrants' Rights Network

EU citizen settlement scheme is uncertain and unfair

The 3 Million campaign group have produced a detailed legal analysis of the government’s “EU Settlement Scheme: Statement of Intent,” released last month.

This document is regularly touted as having “solved” the issue of EU citizens’ rights in the UK, and British citizens in the EU, but The 3 Million, like MRN, have consistently pointed to the proposals’ shortcomings.

The starting point for the analysis is a pledge by Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Gisela Stuart – prominent Leave advocates – before the referendum that there would be no reduction of rights for EU citizens currently living in the UK.

In addition to critiquing the consultation – or lack thereof – that has characterised the UK government’s approach to settlement, the document challenges:

The lack of legal certainty for EU migrants’ rights, which will be governed by UK immigration policy and as such perfectly amenable to future changes or restrictions (as has happened, for example, with Commonwealth citizens). This lack of certainty is particularly worrying in the eventuality of a scenario in which the EU and UK do not agree on a final separation arrangement.

The settlement process’ lack of transparency and fairness, especially linked to application cost and modalities (evidential burden for those not fully tracked in government databases, unlawful and unnecessary criminal and conduct checks, data protection exemption)

And the decision-making process’ lack of inclusiveness, exemplified by a lack of clarity about what kind of support for the most vulnerable will be available.

Read the full analysis here.

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