Reported by The Scotsman – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.
Fresh concerns have been raised about the UK Government’s Settled Status scheme after new figures revealed that just over one-fifth of EU citizens living in Scotland have applied for permanent residency.
With the country now less than three months away from a possible no deal Brexit, residents without Settled Status face uncertainty if travelling to and from the UK.
Around 230,000 EU citizens live in Scotland, but the most recent UK Government figures indicate that just 51,600 applications have been received from north of the Border. Across the UK, only around one-third of EU citizens have completed the process.
Campaigners have criticised the Settled Status scheme as being unnecessarily awkward for applicants. But the Home Office insisted support was on offer to help those who wanted to apply.
Under the scheme set out by the Home Office, EU citizens and their families need to prove their identity, show that they live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions as part of applying.
EU citizens and their families have until at least December 2020 to apply – but that could be extended to June 30, 2021 if a deal is reached.
The UK Government announced this week that freedom of movement will end on October 31, with Downing Street claiming the system allowing EU citizens to freely live and work in the UK would “look different”.
A Downing Street spokeswoman insisted that EU citizens currently resident in the UK would not be prevented from re-entering the country after trips abroad, but it remains unclear how border checks would be carried out.
A spokesman for The 3 Million, a campaign group which lobbies on behalf of EU citizens in the UK, told The Scotsman that “millions are yet to apply for Settled Status”.
They added: “There is lack of certainty about their exact number. This is because national population statistics do not include some groups of EU citizens, or their non-EU family members.