A special program aims to protect EU citizens living in Great Britain from Brexit chaos. But shortly before the crucial deadline, experts fear hundreds of thousands of people will soon face legal problems as they are overwhelmed by requests for a new position. The application deadline for the so-called EU settlement program ends on 30 June, which aims to guarantee EU citizens living in Great Britain the same rights they had before Brexit.
“Anyone who does not apply by the deadline and cannot prove a good reason for a late application may immediately and irrevocably cancel their application,” said a report by UK think tank Changing Europe, published on Wednesday. will lose the right of residence.” These people are also in danger of being deported. Hundreds of thousands may be affected.
Digital process as a barrier for some groups
Eligible to apply for the program are EU citizens and people from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland who were in Great Britain before the end of last year. Experts consider the elderly, foster children and the homeless to be particularly at risk of missing important deadlines – ie everyone who may find the fully digital application process difficult or who doesn’t even know they have a new position. have to apply for. After Brexit.
Furthermore, an obvious weakness is that Great Britain has no register of EU citizens and the government cannot check how many people are in the country, which in principle has to apply.
» The EU Settlement Plan is a huge success because it created a fast and efficient system that reached a large number of people. But now it is entering a phase that requires sensitivity and where the government needs to be pragmatic and flexible in difficult matters,” said Kathryn Bernard, deputy director of the think tank. To date, more than five million people in the UK have applied for settlement status – more than originally expected.