Bath MP Wera Hobhouse has raised concerns about outstanding local applications for the EU Settlement Scheme.
Home Office data released in September shows 320 EU Settled Status applications remain outstanding in Bath and North East Somerset, with applicants facing uncertainty about their future in this country.
If settled status is refused, applicants will not be able to work, study, claim benefits, drive a car or even open a bank account. The national In Limbo Project, which is active in Bath, has helped many EU citizens navigate the pitfalls of the EU Settlement Scheme. Launched to give a voice to EU citizens living in the UK, the organisation was praised by the Bath MP for its outstanding work.
Wera Hobhouse had called for both the physical proof of settled status and an extension to the deadline for applications. Since then, the Government has said that they would be flexible with the deadline for late applicants. However, new data raises concerns about the ongoing backlog in applications.
Commenting on the outstanding applications, Wera said:
“320 people in Bath and North East Somerset are being left in the dark by the Home Office. It is cruel to leave so many people surrounded by such uncertainty.
“This is simply unacceptable, months after the Government’s deadline for applications. In the summer I called for an extension to the deadline which fell on deaf ears. The Government must clear the backlog of applications from EU citizens who wish to stay in the UK. I also called for digital proof of status for applicants after hearing about difficulties from some constituents who struggled with the solely online application.
“The backlog must be cleared and the uncertainty that members of our community here in Bath and North East Somerset face must end now. EU citizens are deeply woven into every facet of local life. They have made this country their home and they should not be left in limbo.”
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