York’s Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to grant EU citizens the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need, as new Home Office figures reveal that 420 residents in York are still waiting for a decision on their Settled Status application.
The latest EU Settlement Scheme statistics show that, as of the end of December, there have been 7970 applications from people living in York, but only 7550 of these have been concluded.
The figures also reveal that 3310 EU-born residents have only been granted temporary ‘Pre-Settled Status’. That means a total of 3730 applicants have still not been given the permanent right to stay.
Whilst the Office for National Statistics projected that there was an estimated EU population in York of 7,000, this figure is subject to a confidence of +/-3,000 so the percentage of EU residents who have applied is open to significant variation.
City of York Council has proactively engaged with the EU citizens living in York, to offer advice and support through the application process. A dedicated Community Involvement Officer has been appointed by City of York Council, with a focus on supporting EU residents in the city through this difficult time.
Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities commented:
“Boris Johnson and the Conservatives promised to guarantee automatically the rights of EU citizens to stay. EU citizens in the UK have been living under a cloud of uncertainty due to promises broken by this Government.
“The enormous backlog shows that the Government’s botched scheme is anything but automatic. We have no confidence that we know how many people are being left out because we’re unable to access accurate data.
“EU citizens are our friends, neighbours and work colleagues and are a part of what makes York such a special place to live. I would encourage all EU citizens, who have made York their home, to apply for the scheme and secure their rights as soon as possible.
“Liberal Democrats have been fighting for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need. Whilst the Government has failed to answer our calls, we are continuing to reach out to EU nationals and support them in any way we can and we will continue to work hard locally to assist every EU citizen who wants to exercise their right to remain to do so.”
The deadline for applying for the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021.
EU residents can visit GOV.UK for further information about applying to the EU Settlement Scheme: www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families. Information on the EU Settlement Scheme support in York is available at www.york.gov.uk/EUSettlementScheme
Data can be found here: EU Settlement Scheme quarterly statistics, December 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)