THE security minister, Brandon Lewis, has threatened EU citizens with deportation from the UK if they do not apply for settled status after Brexit.
Home Office figures show 1 million of the estimated 3 million EU citizens in the UK have yet to apply for settled status that will allow them to stay in the UK.
In an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt, Lewis said these people risked being deported if they failed to apply by the end of 2020.
“If EU citizens have not registered by then without an adequate justification, the immigration rules will apply,” Lewis said.
Responding to comments by Brandon Lewis that EU citizens living in the UK could face deportation, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Christine Jardine said:
“I am absolutely appalled. I have just been at a school where a Hungarian-born pupil told me she was scared about Brexit, and now I learn that the Conservative Government is threatening to deport people like her.
“Brandon Lewis has finally confirmed what we’ve known all along: Boris Johnson has no intention of keeping his promise to automatically guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.
“No one seriously believes the Home Office will have granted Settled Status to all 3.6 million EU citizens by the Conservatives’ arbitrary December 2020 deadline. Thousands will inevitably be left effectively undocumented – and now the Government is saying it will deport them.
“That is totally unacceptable. EU citizens are our friends and neighbours, our carers and families, and Liberal Democrats demand better for them. That’s why we’re fighting to stop Brexit and prevent another Windrush-style scandal.”
Commenting further, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Thurrock Kevin McNamara said:
“It is estimated that over 7000 people from other European states have made their homes here in Thurrock. They contribute massively to our public life, helping run services at our community hospitals and being the friendly faces that serve us on the high street. This government threatening to deport our neighbours if they fall victim to a bureaucratic nightmare of this government’s own making is nothing short of shameful.
“I hope Jackie Doyle-Price agrees with me, does the right thing and stands up for European families here in Thurrock and denounces this nasty, mean-spirited and small-minded government.”