Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Campaign response - Free movement

Thank you to constituents who have recently got in touch with me about their
concerns about the ending of free movement after Brexit.

I understand how important it is that the government gets it right what our
future immigration system.

We voted to leave the EU and its institutions, but we did not to leave
behind our friends and family from the EU who are already in the UK. I have
been clear that I want to see EU citizens who have contributed so much to
our economy and community remain here after we Brexit, deal or no deal.

In August the Home Office published its latest information on the Settled
Status Scheme, which showed that over 1 million EU citizens have now been
granted settled status - just five months after the Scheme fully opened. The
Scheme is clearly performing better than expected, and will remain a key
part of the government's immigration policy post Brexit, deal or no deal.

I have not been made aware of any refusals/difficult cases in our
constituency. On the contrary a number of people I know from the EU were
granted settled or pre-settled status in a matter of hours after submitting
their information and documents on the smartphone app.

Whether or not we leave with a deal, EU nationals in the UK will have until
at least the end of 2020 to apply. This date is under review and the
government may decide to extend it to allow for more EU nationals to
register within the timeframe.

In addition to a mass communication and marketing campaign across the
country to make EU citizens aware of the scheme, the Government has also
awarded £9 million worth of funding to community organisations to provide
support to vulnerable or hard-to-reach groups to complete their

This week the Government has also announced plans for a new European
temporary leave to remain scheme for our European friends who wish to move
to the UK to live and work here after a no-deal Brexit and before the new
immigration system is implemented.

We are ending the freedom of movement - a key promise made during the EU
referendum of 2016 - to deliver what the people voted for. Ending the
freedom of movement in its current form is the starting point for our new,
fairer and more effective immigration system.

Further discussions need to be had about what additional arrangements should
look like, but while taking back control is important, nevertheless I want
to see that our immigration system is able to deliver for our economy and
for our businesses, by looking outwards and bringing to the UK the skills
and talent that we desperately need.