Millions of EU citizens in the UK have been living under a cloud of uncertainty for more than two years. After being quizzed by MPs on two separate occasions, the Immigration Minister has utterly failed to offer them any clarity.
The Minister was still unable to answer what immigration checks EU citizens will be subject to after Brexit
Following a disastrous appearance at the Home Affairs Select Committee last week, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes was brought before the House of Commons yesterday. But she was still unable to answer what immigration checks EU citizens will be subject to after Brexit, and how these will apply to those who are already here are therefore entitled to ‘settled status’.
The one thing the Minister did admit is that the Conservatives will not be able to implement their much-vaunted immigration red lines for years to come.
The Home Office is currently trialling the scheme for applying for settled status, but it isn’t due to be fully open until March 2019. Nokes boasted that the Home Office has now granted settled status to 1,000 EU citizens, less than 0.03% of the 3.6 million EU citizens currently living in the UK.
The Conservatives are sleepwalking into another Windrush scandal, where hostile environment checks destroy the lives of people who have every right to be in the UK.
The Government’s chaotic approach to Brexit risks subjecting EU citizens to those same injustices.
Conservative Ministers must end this uncertainty and offer a way out of this mess entirely by giving the people a final say on the Brexit deal, with the option to remain in the EU.