News World UK begins EU citizen registration amid uncertainty, stress

UK begins EU citizen registration amid uncertainty, stress

Millions of EU citizens living in Britain can register from Monday for settled status after Brexit but a research group warned that many could still be left out in the cold and some EU nationals are attending support groups to cope with the stress.

Britain is home to about 3.5 million EU nationals and many of those will need to apply for inclusion on a new “settled status” register before July 2021 if they want to stay. Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29 this year.

Britain’s interior ministry on Monday began the first public testing of the registration system for all EU citizens who hold a valid passport and any non-EU citizen family members who hold a valid biometric residence card.

“From the very beginning we have been clear that securing the rights of EU citizens living in the UK is our priority,” immigration minister Caroline Nokes said, adding that the new settlement scheme would be “easy and straightforward” to use.

A private phase of testing of EU citizens working for health service trusts and universities in the north-west of England between November and December involved almost 30,000 applications and none were rejected.

However, research group British Future said the scheme could harm vulnerable groups such as the elderly and people with limited English or computer skills, and warned of a new Windrush scandal unless the government addressed its shortcomings.

Britain apologised last year for its “appalling” treatment of thousands of Caribbean migrants – the “Windrush generation” – who were denied basic rights after a tightening of immigration policy, despite having lived in the country for decades. Some were wrongly deported.

After Brexit, some EU nationals could be left “destitute, barred from working, at risk of exploitation and unable to access basic services” under the new scheme, the British Future report said.

With just over two months left until Brexit, there is still no agreement in London on how and even whether it should leave the world’s biggest trading bloc.


In a sign of the anxiety felt even by some longtime EU citizens living in the UK, the Swedish Church in London hosted a discussion last week of problems they face because of Brexit.

Freelance writer and German national Anette Pollner who has lived in Britain for almost 30 years but does not have a British passport, said she was terrified that her settled status application would be rejected because she may not have the correct documents to prove her right to remain.

Pollner said she had experienced increased hostility towards her since Britain voted by 52 percent to 48 percent in June 2016 to leave the EU after more than four decades.

“Since the referendum we have been living in a state of constant fear,” she said.

“I am taught a lesson every single day that I am not welcome here in so many different ways. When people hear my foreign accent it’s a kind of racism, they respond to me just like they respond to someone who has a different skin colour.”

British psychotherapist Susie Orbach said EU citizens living here had faced much greater uncertainty over their rights since the referendum, and some felt Britons no longer wanted them around.

“The issue of Brexit has hit my consulting room from the day after the vote, where there was absolute shock and confusion,” she told the event.

“For some people who may have even been brought up here in England but have not ever turned themselves into citizens it’s been very confusing and quite scary.”


Top Stories

Police book three restaurants for breaking distancing rule

  Three restaurants were booked after police carried out 642 checks from 6 pm on Sunday to 6 am on Monday at various businesses to...

GHS Phase Two gets underway with 85% of island’s doctors on board

Phase Two of GHS (Gesy) that incorporates inpatient services to the reform has begun as of today, June 1, with 85% of Cyprus' doctors...

Solar heater subsidy scheme launched

  The RES and Energy Conservation Fund is accepting applications for a scheme subsidising  solar heaters for water at residences for 2020. The scheme has a...

Limassol kiosk robbed, €1800 stolen

  Two men in hoods robbed  €1800 from a Limassol kiosk on Sunday night and fled, philenews reports. It said that the two hooded men had...

Chain of life for Eleftherios

  An appeal has been launched  to raise funds to pay for treatment for 39 year old Eleftherios Eleftheriou, 39, who has been suffering from...


Local cuisine: An introduction

Rich in fresh ingredients and tasty herbs, offers the very best of Mediterranean culinary delights. Head out to a tavern and feast on a...

Spiced lamb with beetroot salad and scented yoghurt

Lay the lamb on a tray, skin side down. Rub with crushed garlic, sprinkle with spices and ground pistachios, wrap in plastic wrap and...

Easy seafood pasta with white wine sauce

Ingredients: 2-3 tbsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, chopped 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream 1/3 cup white wine 300g spaghetti, roughly broken 300-400g of...

Traditional salads that will blow your mind away

This traditional salads will make you actually love salads! Cyprus may be famous for souvla and kleftiko but if you try the traditional salads with...