510 EU citizens in Cheltenham are stuck in limbo as ‘Settled Status’ backlog soars.
The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to grant EU citizens the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need, as new Home Office figures reveal that 510 people in Cheltenham are still waiting for a decision on their Settled Status application.
The latest EU Settlement Scheme statistics show that, as of the end of December, there have been 7,770 applications from people living in Cheltenham, but only 7,260 of these have been concluded.
The figures also reveal that 2,750 people in Cheltenham have only been granted temporary ‘Pre-Settled Status’. That means a total of 3,260 Cheltenham applicants have still not been given the permanent right to stay.
Responding to the figures, Max Wilkinson, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Cheltenham, said:
“Far too many EU citizens in Cheltenham are still living under a cloud of uncertainty. They must have the right to stay.
“EU citizens are an integral part of our Cheltenham communities. They are our friends and family, and Liberal Democrats will always stand up for them.
“We will keep fighting to secure their automatic right to stay, with the physical proof they need.”
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael added:
“Boris Johnson and the Conservatives promised to guarantee automatically the rights of EU citizens to stay, but they have broken that promise, as they have with so many others.
“The enormous backlog shows that the Government’s botched scheme is anything but automatic. It puts thousands of EU citizens at risk of becoming the victims of a new Windrush-style Scandal.”