Defend EU migrants' rights

In his first statement as prime minister, Boris Johnson gave 'unequivocally our guarantee to the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us...that, under this Government, they will have the absolute certainty for the right to live and remain."

In less than a day, the prime minister's spokesperson rushed to clarify that this did not mean new legislation would be proposed. Instead Johnson would maintain the EU Settlement Scheme, implying that migrants who fail to apply will lose their legal status and residency rights.

Figures suggest at least 2 million EU nationals have not applied for settled status yet. In order to be given settled status, migrants have to prove they have lived in the UK for at least five years.

To make matters worse, the Home Office has brought forward the deadline for applications from 30 June 2021 to 31 December 2020.

This is the perfect recipe for a repetition of the Windrush generation scandal.

Legislation should be passed to guarantee the legal status of all EU migrants who live here.

At a minimum the government must:

  • Scrap the 5 year cap – every EU national resident in the UK should preserve all their current rights.
  • The original deadline advertised by the Home Office to apply for settled status be re-established.
  • Provide real guarantees that the situation of EU nationals living in Britain will not be affected in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Initial signatories include:

Diane Abbott shadow home secretary

Lord Alf Dubs

Mark Serwotka PCS general secretary

Mohammed Kozbar Finsbury Park Mosque chairperson & Muslim Association Britain

Rabbi Lee Wax

Sabby Dhalu & Weyman Bennett Stand Up To Racism co convenors

Kate Osamor MP

Catherine West MP

Lloyd Russel-Moyle MP

Lord Peter Hain

Julie Ward MEP

Claude Moraes MEP

Mike Hedges Welsh Assembly Member

Shahrar Ali Green Party home affairs spokesperson 

Unmesh Desai Greater London Assembly 

Rokhsana Fiaz Newham Mayor 

Manuel Cortez TSSA general secretary

Ronnie Draper BFAWU general secretary

Jane Loftus CWU president

Ian Hodson BFAWU president

Maz Saleem anti racist campaigner

Salma Yaqoob campaigner and activist

Gerry Gable Searchlight editor

Julia Bard Jewish Socialist Group

Louise Raw author

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