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UK Outlines Streamlined Settled Status System

UK Outlines Streamlined Settled Status System

In a bid to reassure EU citizens currently living in the UK, the government has outlined how its new "settled status" will work after the UK leave the EU.

The recent Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU) document has laid out a two-year grace period for EU citizens to make an application for settled status in the UK and to keep the cost of an application to "no more" than that of a British passport.

The document states that the government will introduce a "digital, streamlined and user-friendly application system." In addition, the document also pledged to minimise evidence required on minor issues, as well as promises to provide EU citizens a statutory right of appeal in UK courts, committing to making decisions "solely on the criteria set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, with no discretion for other reasons for refusal."

EU citizens to be subject to stricter deportation laws post-Brexit

Those who are sentenced to more than a year in jail will face deportation, despite the EU demanding that citizens retain the rights that they hold currently. UK officials say the government is determined EU citizens given permanent settled status do not become a “privileged caste” who enjoy better rights than UK or other foreign nationals.

The document failed to note whether EU citizens would be allowed to continue to bring family members to live in the UK after Brexit.

Government officials optimistic about proposals

The government is optimistic about the ease with which cases would be granted to the majority of EU citizens living in the UK. A government official said: "We expect the majority of cases to be granted."

Brexit secretary David Davis said:

"Safeguarding the rights of EU citizens is our top priority in negotiations. They make a huge contribution to our economy and society and we do not want to see that change as a result of our decision to leave the EU.”

He added: “We will support everyone wishing to stay to gain settled status through a new straightforward, streamlined system. The last negotiation round saw real progress in this area and I hope the document we have published . . . can facilitate the deal we need to guarantee the rights of UK citizens living in the EU27, and vice versa."

Home secretary Amber Rudd also expressed that she hoped the new outlines would provide reassurance to EU citizens currently living in the UK. Ms Rudd said: “EU citizens living in the UK make an enormous contribution to our country and we want them to stay . . . We know that there is some anxiety among EU citizens about how the process of applying for settled status will work so I hope this document provides some further reassurance.”

EU criticises UK’s proposals on EU citizens’ rights

The EU has stated that Britain's new offer on EU citizens' rights is inadequate, arguing that EU citizens living in the UK should be granted automatic citizenship in the UK following Brexit.

The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said: "EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU were told that nothing would change because of Brexit. The fact that the UK Government needs 25 paragraphs to explain how their lives will change proves this was a fabrication.”

He added: "It's hard to believe this proposed new system will be smooth and efficient. The European Parliament remains deeply concerned about the lack of progress on citizens' rights issues. It is erroneous to say a deal is 'within touching distance'."

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