The Liberal Democrats have warned that the Government is failing to guarantee the rights of all 3.6 million EU citizens in the UK, as new official figures show that fewer than 1 million people had been given Settled Status by the end of September.
The latest EU Settlement Scheme Statistics, published today by the Home Office, show that 929,600 people had been granted Settled Status by the end of September 2019 – meaning 2.7 million EU citizens do not have Settled Status. 586,700 applicants have been given Pre-Settled Status, which only gives them Limited Leave to Remain in the UK for five years.
The Liberal Democrats also raised concerns over the number of applicants receiving neither Settled or Pre-Settled Status. Today’s figures show 335,700 people are still waiting for a decision, with 1,860,200 applications received but only 1,524,500 concluded. They also show 8,000 “other outcomes” (applications that were withdrawn, deemed invalid, or where the applicant was deemed ineligible) in the first six months of the scheme.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Christine Jardine said:
“Boris Johnson has broken the promise he made to the 3.6 million EU citizens in the UK. He said their rights would be automatically guaranteed in law, but today’s figures show that the process is anything but automatic.
“If the Conservatives carry on with their Brexit plans, thousands of EU citizens will miss out on Settled Status and be left vulnerable to the Tories’ Hostile Environment. Brexit will create an even bigger Windrush-style scandal.
“Hundreds of thousands are being given second-class ‘Pre-Settled Status’, which means they will face a new cliff-edge in five years. That’s another disaster waiting to happen.
“The Liberal Democrats demand better for EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU. We will stop this awful chaos and uncertainty by stopping Brexit, and guarantee your rights to live, work and study where you choose by saving free movement.”
The EU Settlement Scheme Statistics, September 2019, published yesterday by the Home Office, are available here.