Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has criticised the Government’s announcements today on their proposed scheme for registering EU citizens for “settled status”.
The Government published its plans, which claim that “EU citizens will be able to apply for settled status in 3 easy steps for less than the price of a passport“. However, the Cambridge MP, Daniel Zeichner, has commented that “as usual, when it comes to Theresa May’s government, this is only half the story, with the harder-to-swallow elements hidden beneath the surface.“
He says: “The government claims that this will be “easy“, which is laughable when considering not only how difficult and painstaking it is to deal with the Home Office anyway, let alone when they are processing 3 million EU citizens. It is also going to be done online; the Government’s Digital Service has been routinely slated by the tech industry, and the media, as not fit for purpose. The Home Secretary himself admitted that the app that has been developed to check passport chips will only be available on Android devices, so iPhone users will not be able to use it. This really is a Government from the stone age.“
“Beyond these practical concerns, it is unacceptable to charge £65 for settled status, to tax-paying residents who had no say over the Referendum vote. It’s just another way that this Govenrment has shown its disdain for EU citizens.“
Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes MP, outlined the process in the Commons today, saying EU citizens would need to prove their identity, that they live in the UK and how long they’ve lived here, and declare that they have no serious criminal convictions to achieve settled status. An application will cost £65 and £32.50 for a child under 16. For those who already have valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain documentation, they will be able to exchange it for settled status for free.