At least 200,000 EU citizens could be left without right to live in UK despite entitlement

PUBLISHED: 15:03 15 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:27 15 August 2019

EU citizens holding up a banner after lobbying MPs to guarantee their post-Brexit rights at the Houses of Parliament in London. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

EU citizens holding up a banner after lobbying MPs to guarantee their post-Brexit rights at the Houses of Parliament in London. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Hundreds of thousands of EU citizens could be left without the right to live and work in the UK after next year despite being entitled to these privileges.

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Liberal Democrats home affairs spokesperson, Ed Davey has raised concerns about the hundreds of thousands of EU citizens who could be left without the right to live and work in the UK following a no-deal Brexit. Picture: David MirzoeffLiberal Democrats home affairs spokesperson, Ed Davey has raised concerns about the hundreds of thousands of EU citizens who could be left without the right to live and work in the UK following a no-deal Brexit. Picture: David Mirzoeff

The warning comes after statistics published by the Home Office show the number of people given settled or pre-settled status last month dropped dramatically from the first full month of the EU Settlement Scheme.

The latest statistics from the scheme reveal at the end of July less than 1m people had secured their rights to live and work in the UK.

In total, 3.6m EU citizens are able to guarantee their status.

The Liberal Democrats have issued the warning ahead of the December 2020 deadline which will come into effect if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson, Ed Davey, said: "These figures show what the Liberal Democrats have been warning all along: thousands of EU citizens will miss out on settled status and be left vulnerable to the Tories' hostile environment.

"If we leave the EU, they could find themselves evicted, detained and even deported.

"These are our families and our carers, our neighbours and our friends - and they deserve far better than Boris Johnson, who has repeatedly promised to guarantee their rights but utterly failed to actually do it."

In July, 143,700 people were given settled or pre-settled status.

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If 143,700 grants are made in each month from now until the deadline the total number of people with settled or pre-settled status will be 3.39m.

This would leave at least 200,000 EU citizens without the right to live and work in the UK after December 2020 despite being entitled to these privileges.

In April - the first month of the EU settlement scheme - 237,600 people were given settled or pre-settled status.

Davey added: "The Liberal Democrats demand better for EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU.

"We will guarantee their rights to live, work and study where they choose by stopping Brexit and saving free movement."

The Lib Dems also raised concerns over the sharp rise in applicants who do not receive settled or pre-settled status.

Home Office figures show the number of 'other outcomes' - applications that were withdrawn, deemed invalid, or where the applicant was deemed ineligible - rose by 140% from 1,000 in June to 2,400 in July.

Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: "A no-deal Brexit is a Hostile Environment 2.0. It is devastating to think that EU citizens in the UK are fearful of their future. This is not just our home. It's their home too."

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