Cabinet Office minister and Brexiteer Michael Gove has been accused of insulting EU citizens by claiming that their mandatory applications to the EU Settlement Scheme were a “vote of confidence in Britain”.
Appearing in the Commons to support the prime minister’s Brexit bill, he told MPs: “It is important to remember that there are now four million EU citizens who have chosen to make their home in this country — a vote of confidence in Britain.”
The remarks have been branded “insulting” by EU citizens, including campaigners the3million.
“A mandatory application for Settled Status does not mean EU citizens are okay with the UK leaving the EU nor a vote of confidence in the UK,” said one. “Please don’t be fooled!”
Another tweeted: “Vote of confidence? Think again Give. Maybe we just didn’t want to uproot our young children, leave our jobs & friends to have to start a new life elsewhere after, say, 23 years living here.”
Vera Kempe added: “Adding insult to injury. We applied because we were forced to. Either that or uproot yourself and destroy your family. I don‘t feel confident, I feel insulted and trapped as a second class individual.”
“Prisoners choosing to complete mandatory sentences are also a wonderful vote of confidence in the prison service,” commented @always_a_yes.
Elisabeth Petfalski wrote: “As an EU citizen I have zero confidence in the government and the settlement scheme. I have all confidence in them that they will revoke or change it a few years down the line so we would have to reapply to stay”.
“I promise you Michael Gove that my Settled Status is no vote of confidence in Britain,” posted Amparo Torregrosa. “This is my home. Just because you’ve wrecked my children’s and my guests’ rooms doesn’t mean that I am going to let it rot. I’m gathering tools and rebuilding a stronger, fully European one.”
Robert Davidson, meanhile, branded the minister the “Goebbels of Brexit.”