• ’Where do I go ?’ EU citizens face legal limbo after decades in Britain

    Anna Amato was just two when she moved to Britain from Italy with her parents 55 years ago.

    She has lived in Britain ever since, attending school and university, working in a variety of jobs, and paying taxes. She has always lived in the city of Bristol in the west of England, marrying a British husband and raising two British children.

    Like thousands of European Union nationals who have made Britain their home after living in the country for decades, Amato always assumed she had earned the legal right to settle permanently.

    But the government didn’t agree. The interior ministry rejected her request for permanent residency last year, saying she did not have enough evidence to document her status.

    She was devastated.

    “You are in your country, it is a democracy, all of a sudden you are told after this time no one knows what is going to happen to you,” Amato, 57, told Reuters. “Where do I go? It is really, really scary.”

    Amato is one of a growing number of EU nationals denied the right to live indefinitely in Britain ahead of the country’s departure from the bloc, currently scheduled for October 31.

    For decades, Britain’s membership of the EU has guaranteed the bloc’s citizens the right to live and work in the country. But as Britain prepares to sever ties with Brussels after 46 years, EU citizens must apply for a new legal lifeline to remain, known as settled status.

    Under the government’s plans, EU citizens who can prove they have lived continuously in Britain for five years will be granted settled status, giving them the same rights to work, study and benefits they currently hold.

    But Reuters has spoken to six EU nationals, including a top French chef, who have been refused settled status, even though they should automatically qualify through continuous residency.

    Many EU nationals are concerned they could lose the right to free healthcare or employment. Others are worried about how they will prove they have the right to return if they travel abroad.

    The fate of EU migrants has been thrown further into confusion by the government’s announcement this month that their automatic right to live and work in Britain will end abruptly - and sooner than expected - in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
    ‘SO INSULTING’

    The problems facing EU nationals asked to suddenly prove their status mirrors the Windrush scandal, in which British citizens of Caribbean origin were denied rights despite living lawfully in the country for decades. Some lost jobs, others were wrongly deported.

    Virendra Sharma, a lawmaker in the opposition Labour Party and a supporter of the pro-EU Best for Britain campaign group, said Amato’s case was a sign the government is ill-prepared for such a drastic overhaul of the immigration system.

    “Anna’s story is a tragic one,” he said. “How can somebody who has given so much of their life to the UK, who went to school here and got married here, have their existence in this country wiped? I think most people would say that can’t be right.”

    Amato, who speaks with a soft Bristol accent, began trying to unravel her immigration status in 2017. It was a year after Britain voted to leave the EU and the government was promising to tighten immigration rules for the bloc’s citizens. She spent about three months compiling documents to apply for settled status. They included tax returns, bank statements, her qualifications and social security number, known in Britain as a national insurance number.

    In a career spanning almost 40 years, Amato ran a pizza takeaway for almost 20 years and also worked as a personal assistant and counsellor. Amato, who says she’s apolitical, estimates she has paid more than half a million pounds ($615,000) in taxes.

    By the time she had finished collecting documents she filled a box, which was so heavy it cost her 35 pounds to post.

    But the interior ministry refused her application saying she had “failed to show you have a permanent right of residence in the UK,” according to a letter seen by Reuters.

    Amato then made a series of frantic calls to the ministry and sent almost a dozen emails complaining there had been a mistake. The government so far refused to change its decision.

    In one email which particularly riles Amato, a government official told her she had failed to prove herself as, “a qualified person either as a worker, a self-employed person, a student, a jobseeker, or a self-sufficient person”. “It is so insulting,” she said, wiping away tears. “You know we all need a basic need to feel a sense of belonging, wherever we are.”

    “All of a sudden, they snatch it away from you. You become unstable. It gives you anxiety, stress, you know it affects every aspect of your life. It is so upsetting,” she said.

    The interior ministry said Amato had not reapplied under its EU Settlement Scheme and that it had told her where to get assistance with the process.

    The government launched its EU Settlement Scheme for registering EU citizens in January this year.
    ‘PAINFUL AND EMBARRASSING’

    The status of British and EU nationals living in each other’s territories has been one of the most important issues in Brexit talks, which have dragged on for the past three years.

    Both sides have promised to ensure settled citizens do not lose any rights.

    In his first statement to parliament after becoming prime minister in July, Boris Johnson said he wanted to thank EU citizens living in Britain for their contribution and promised to ensure they could remain after Brexit.

    But Daniel Hannan, a prominent Brexit supporter and Conservative lawmaker in the European Parliament, has called on the government to do more, saying he had been contacted by EU nationals in his constituency denied long-term residency.

    “This is a breach of the assurances I and other Leavers gave during the referendum,” he said. “Please help sort this out.”

    Until recently, the government had been advising the estimated 3.5 million EU citizens living in Britain that they had until December 2020 to register to retain their rights. So far, only about 1 million people have applied.

    Richard Bertinet, a renowned French chef who has lived in Britain for the past 31 years, was denied settled status after applying earlier this month with the help of his British wife, a former lawyer.

    Bertinet, who has written two award-winning cookbooks, appeared on cookery television programmes and set up a bakery that supplies upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose, said he had only been granted pre-settled status.

    The ministry gave him the right to stay until 2024, when he will need to reapply for settled status.

    “It is painful and embarrassing,” he told Reuters. “I have spent more time in my life in this country than in France.”

    Bertinet said he fears more for vulnerable people, such as those who speak poor English or the elderly.

    “There are going to be a lot of tears for a lot of people.”

    The interior ministry said in response to a request for comment that it has been in touch with Bertinet to help him provide evidence to be granted settled status.But others may not be so fortunate. It can be particularly difficult to prove residency for stay-at-home parents or carers even if they have lived in Britain for years.

    Amato says she is not sure she will apply again to confirm her residency status - and will just deal with the consequences.

    She could apply for citizenship through her British husband. But she’s offended by the idea of having to sit an English and history test and paying more than a thousand pounds to get citizenship after living in Britain for over half a century.

    “I resent the fact I have to apply for settlement in my own country. If I apply again, I am enabling the system,” she said. “What is next? A badge, branding?”

    Amato says her Italian father, who had dementia in later life and died in March, would be upset at how EU migrants are being treated. He moved his family to Britain to work in a factory making washing machines in 1964, a time when Britain was looking abroad for workers.

    “He loved the UK because he thought it was a fair and decent nation. He was proud to be here,” she said. “I feel betrayed.”

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-immigration-insight/where-do-i-go-eu-citizens-face-legal-limbo-after-decades-in-britain-idUK
    #citoyens_européens #UK #Angleterre #limbe #limbe_législatif #brexit

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les conséquences du Brexit sur les citoyens européens vivant en UK :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/784126

    • How EU families in Britain are coping with Brexit uncertainty

      Mirela left Croatia in 1991 because of the civil war in Yugoslavia. Her husband Frank grew up in the Republic of Ireland. Both are worried Brexit has left a deep scar through British society, one that it will take years to heal. They also worry about the impact of Brexit on their mixed-nationality families and how to mitigate it.

      “It is a smart option to get as many passports as you can,” Mirela, who holds a passport from the newest EU member state, Croatia, told our team. For Frank, an Irish national, his Republic of Ireland passport is the best to have under current circumstances due to the additional arrangements between the Republic of Ireland and the UK regarding the status of their citizens.

      Mirela, who has seen how quickly a country can implode and how rapidly the value of a passport can change, is not persuaded. “Things can change quickly,” She says.

      These comments are a snapshot of the many, often animated and tense, conversations EU families have had since June 2016.

      Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, recently said the chances of a Brexit deal are now “touch and go”, having previously said the odds of a no-deal Brexit were “a million to one”. This has reopened the debate around the protections provided by the “EU settled status” arrangement, further igniting EU citizens’ anxieties and moving more people towards applying for a British passport via naturalisation.

      The latest Home Office immigration statistics released in August show that since March 2019, when the scheme was officially launched after a pilot phase, more than a million EU nationals have applied for “EU settled status” which allows them to continue living in the UK after Brexit.

      Data also reveal that the share of British citizenship applications by EU nationals has increased from 4% in 2007 to 30% in June 2019. At the time of the 2016 EU referendum, applications by EU citizens accounted for 12% of the total.

      Our study – EU families and Eurochildren in Brexiting Britain – shows that for some EU citizens, the result of the EU referendum has meant a sudden and even shocking realisation of the fragility of their legal position in the UK. Others, instead, had already encountered the UK government’s “hostile environment” and experienced being at the receiving end of the virulent anti-immigration rhetoric of some British newspapers.

      Indeed, research shows that Polish and other Central and Eastern EU nationals in the UK have felt negatively targeted by British populist media since much before the June 2016 EU referendum. This might explain why, similarly to Romanian citizens, they began to apply in sizeable numbers for British citizenship even before the referendum and are currently the two main countries of origin of citizenship applicants, followed by Italians, Germans and French.

      Given the above, it’s unsurprising, therefore, that while the increase in applications for British citizenship from citizens of so-called “old member states” (EU14) (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden) has been steeper since June 2016, the increase among citizens of “new member states” – divided into EU8 (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) and EU2 (Romania, Bulgaria), according to their date of accession to the EU – began earlier.

      In 2013, 47% of all British citizenship applications by EU citizens came from EU8 nationals, 27% from EU2 nationals, and 25% from EU14 nationals. By contrast, in 2019, EU14 citizens accounted for 51% of all EU applications, with the EU8 accounting for 30%, and the EU2 18%.

      Newspaper reports often take this as evidence of EU nationals racing to secure their status in the UK. But there are an estimated 3.7m EU nationals in the UK, and only one third has so far applied for settled status and 130,000 for citizenship since the EU referendum.

      Our findings have highlighted how some EU citizens, particularly children, risk falling through the cracks of the settled status registration process and, as a consequence, may encounter insurmountable obstacles to later accessing citizenship.
      A hard decision

      There are a range of economic, social and legal considerations, including fees, eligibility restrictions, and the right to dual nationality that may preclude EU nationals from applying for citizenship. We also found that for those in the position to do it, it is rarely a decision that is taken lightly. Many going through the process feel like the decision has been forced upon them by circumstances, and ultimately decided to apply with family and the future of their children at the forefront of their minds.

      Family composition, in terms of the countries of birth of both parents and children, also plays a role in the decision-making process. We found that in mixed nationality families, including those with a UK-born partner, leaving the UK and “going home” is a rarely a realistic option and that naturalisation becomes the only viable way of keeping the family safe and together.

      We also found that attitudes towards naturalisation vary significantly among EU nationals. Better off and more educated EU nationals, for example, are more reluctant to apply to become British, on ideological and political grounds. Among EU14 nationals this response to naturalisation was more frequent.

      Others, like Mirela, take a more pragmatic approach to acquiring a British passport, particularly those who have previously experienced the constraints and difficulties of visa restrictions and come from countries with lower trust in state institutions and the rule of law (for example, Romania and Bulgaria).

      The outcome of the EU referendum is tearing some EU families apart, uprooting children and parents, spreading them across borders, and forcing families to reconsider their future in the UK. Under these circumstances, becoming a British citizen is often a defensive move – for those who can afford the £1,349 per person application fee – and a way for them to “take back control” over their lives after years of uncertainty.

      https://theconversation.com/how-eu-families-in-britain-are-coping-with-brexit-uncertainty-12265

    • Struggling UK universities warn staff of possible job cuts

      Deteriorating balance sheets and political uncertainty blamed for redundancy threats.

      Universities are warning staff to prepare for redundancies in the new year as a result of deteriorating balance sheets and lowered forecasts for student recruitment, coupled with the uncertainty of Brexit and sudden shifts in government policy.

      In recent days more than half a dozen universities have told staff there could be job cuts in 2019, including members of the research-intensive Russell Group such as Cardiff University, while others are privately bracing for cuts later in the year.

      Universities are in the midst of reporting their financial results for 2017-18 and are monitoring student applications coming in for next year. Several have been alarmed by the projections they are seeing before a 15 January deadline for undergraduates.

      Insiders say universities are more likely to cut staff because of a number of other threats in the next 12 months, including the potential effect on international students of a no-deal Brexit, as well as cuts to tuition fees in England as a result of a review of funding ordered by Theresa May that will report early next year.

      “Knee-jerk cuts to staff will harm universities’ ability to deliver high-quality teaching and research and provide the support students need. Staff are already overstretched and asking those who remain to do even more is not a sustainable strategy,” said Matt Waddup, head of policy for the University and College Union (UCU).

      “Students repeatedly say they want greater investment in their staff as a top priority, yet the proportion of expenditure spent on staff has fallen. Cutting staff will send out entirely the wrong signal to potential students. Axing educators is obscene at any time, let alone during the current uncertainty when we need our universities firing on all cylinders.”
      Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
      Read more

      Among the group of universities that have gone public, the University of Reading told staff in an email on Monday evening that a voluntary redundancy scheme was being drawn up and would open in January.

      “I want to emphasise that voluntary redundancies are only one tool available to us,” wrote Prof Robert Van de Noort, the acting vice-chancellor, suggesting that staff should consider early retirement, reduced hours or changes to contracts to help to avoid compulsory redundancies.

      Reading’s accounts, published a few days ago, reveal that the university made a £20m loss for the financial year, including a £27m loss on its subsidiary in Malaysia. Reading’s balance sheet was brought into the black only by £36m of pension “remeasurements”.

      Van de Noort told staff: “There is no doubt that the year ahead will be difficult at times, but I am confident that as a university community we can address these difficulties and remain a leader in teaching and research in the UK and globally.”

      Despite Reading’s deficit, the previous vice-chancellor, Sir David Bell, saw his total pay rise by £10,000 to £329,000. Bell announced his departure this year and is now vice-chancellor of the University of Sunderland.

      At Cardiff, the vice-chancellor, Colin Riordan, has also written to staff telling them they will be offered voluntary redundancy from January. The university has said compulsory staff cuts “cannot be ruled out”.

      In a joint statement the Cardiff University branches of the Unite, Unison and UCU unions said: “We are astonished that Cardiff University staff are facing their third voluntary severance scheme in six years, and we are very worried that the vice-chancellor still refuses to rule out further compulsory redundancies.”

      At the University of Gloucestershire, based in Cheltenham, unions say they have been advised of more than 100 job cuts and other redundancies as a result of what the university called a “rebalancing” in challenging conditions.

      “There is a demographic fall in the number of 18-year-olds in the population, which is affecting demand for higher education, the level of tuition fees universities are permitted to charge home undergraduate students is capped by the government, and there is increasing competition for recruitment,” the university said.

      “At the same time, we are facing large increases in some of our costs, particularly external increases in what we are required to spend on staff pensions. The combined effect of these factors is that, in common with many other universities, our costs are rising faster than our income. That is not a situation we can allow to continue.”

      In Scotland, union members at Queen Margaret University in Musselburgh begin voting on Wednesday on strike action over the possibility of 40 job cuts – about 10% of its staff – although the university says it hopes to meet the number through voluntary redundancies.

      Other universities considering redundancies include Birkbeck, University of London and Bangor University in Wales.

      The university financial reporting season also reveals that some universities continue to thrive. The University of Oxford said its income topped £1.5bn for the first time in 2017-18, with an overall surplus of £150m.

      Oxford’s investments grew by £286m, which was £68m more than the previous year, while the Oxford University Press contributed a further £205m.

      The financial statements suggest the public controversy over vice-chancellors’ high rates of pay has had some effect, with many leading universities showing little or no growth in pay for their leaders.

      At the University of Manchester, where revenue topped £1bn for the first time, the total earnings of the vice-chancellor, Nancy Rothwell, fell from £306,000 to £276,000 owing to lower pension contributions.

      https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/dec/11/struggling-uk-universities-warn-staff-of-possible-job-cuts

    • Bitter sweet citizenship: how European families in the UK cope with Brexit

      About 80,000 EU nationals have applied for British citizenship since the UK voted to leave the European Union. The decision has rarely been easy. On the contrary, it has often been perceived as “forced” or as an attempt to “take back control” of life amid the Brexit uncertainty, a new research has revealed.

      The contrasting feelings were highlighted in a study by “EU families and Eurochildren in Brexiting Britain”, a project by the University of Birmingham in cooperation with civil rights group the3million, Migrant Voice, and immigration barrister Colin Yeo.

      Researchers interviewed 103 families in the UK in which at least one of the partners is a non-British EU national. They wanted to understand how Brexit is impacting the decisions they make about their legal status.

      The study shows that while many are applying for naturalization, many more are still uncertain and “considering their options.” Better off and educated EU nationals from Western European countries are the most resistant to the idea of becoming British citizens as a solution to Brexit. This is especially true for Germans, “who feel like they somehow betray the European ideal in doing so,” says the report.

      Others, particularly from Eastern Europe, take a more pragmatic approach. Those who apply often do it to protect their children. But instead of being seen as “the culmination of a path to integration”, naturalisation often generates “feelings of un-belonging and of disintegration”.

      Lead author Nando Sigona, deputy director of the Institute of Research into Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham, discusses the research findings with Europe Street News.

      Why a research on families rather than individuals?

      We focused on families in which at least one of the partners is a non-British EU national because Brexit has legal implications for their rights and social implications for their choices. We wanted to explore the dilemmas these families face. For example, in a mix family ‘going back home’ is a complex issue: if you are a Polish-German couple who has met in the UK and speak English as main language, where is home? Probably in the UK.

      We also thought about their children, the next generation. Even pro-migration groups have been very utilitarian in their approach to European migrants. They say they are needed because they work hard, they are young and they contribute to the economy. I personally hate this narrative because I do not like to have a price tag on my head. And for children the situation is even more complicated: they are not productive, they use schools and services, and yet they are in the UK as legitimate residents. According to Migration Observatory, there are more than 900,000 children of EU parents (Ireland excluded) in the UK. How will British society look like in 20 or 30 years, when these children will be adult? What will be the impact of the way they have been treated? These are the questions we wanted to examine.

      Is this why the project refers to ‘Eurochildren’?

      Yes, but let’s not forget that in these families there are British nationals too. We could have called the project “British families with European heritage” and probably we would have got more attention from politicians who have a responsibility towards their citizens, those they do not treat as “others”.

      We usually refer to the 3.8 million EU nationals in the UK, according to the latest Eurostat data. But, as you say, many of them have British partners and children. How many people are really impacted by Brexit?

      It is almost impossible to know because of the way official data are collected. In case of dual nationality, the Office for National Statistics prioritises the British one so people disappear from the statistics on EU nationals. Our research also looked at the census data of the past 40 years, with children of earlier migrants now registered as British. The legacy of EU’s free movement in the UK is much larger that what people think.

      This means that no one knows how many people might or might not be protected by the withdrawal agreement – if there is one – or by the “settled status” scheme.

      The situation is so complicated. Within the same family different members may have different rights. The problem with European families is also that, when they moved to the UK, this was not part of the deal. Their legal status was not something they had to worry about. The government is now ignoring or underestimating this situation by imposing a retroactive bureaucratic monstrosity like the “settled status”. The risk is that many will be left out. The only solution would be to turn the process into a registration rather than an application, and to leave it open. Some people will be inevitably left out, but at least they won’t become unlawful.

      Based on your interviews, what has changed for these families since the Brexit vote?

      Most people feel unsettled because they failed to see Brexit coming. They did not think a majority would vote against the EU and they were not prepared for it. Secondly, they feel forced to consider their options and to make important decisions such as applying for British citizenship or leaving. The configuration of the family, for example whether or not the partners are from the same EU country, can make a difference for their opportunities. There is also a sense of being forced to define themselves. Previously mix families could reconcile their identities under a European umbrella, but Brexit is changing that. However, it is important to acknowledge that people have different feelings about the situation and to not monopolise their voices.

      Are the responses you received uniform across the UK?

      There are places where people feel more secure. London feels safer, respondents said, as a majority voted to stay in the EU, the environment does not feel hostile and there are long standing EU communities. In Scotland, the positive narrative coming from the government helped too. In contrast, people in areas with a strong leave vote felt very isolated. Outside big cities, where immigration is a fairly new phenomenon, Polish and Eastern Europeans in particular did not have established communities and social networks to support them in this hostile transition.

      Many of the people we interviewed were reflecting on neighbours and family members who voted for Brexit. It felt very personal. We heard of families avoiding Christmas meals and, in the most tragic situations, splitting up because the additional tension brought by Brexit pushed them beyond the tipping point. We have also seen tensions between parents and children, for example children asking parents not to speak their mother tongue in public or parents not speaking with their children in the native language because they do not feel safe. The Home Office and migration policies do not consider the reverberations within families of big geopolitical shifts.

      What is the approach of these families to naturalisation?

      Part of our respondents showed a lot of resistance to naturalisation. Especially those with higher social stardards do not want to be forced into it. Some who never felt the urge to become British eventually applied. Among the people who did so, there were often feelings of anger and frustration but this was seen as a strategy to secure the future of children, a sort of parental duty.

      A number of people said they have lost trust in the British government, they are sceptical about the settled status and they think naturalization is the safest option. Others want to retain the right to move freely in and out of the country: becoming British for them does not necessarily mean wanting to stay but keeping all options open for themselves and their children. A minority also said they want to be able to vote. But there are large groups who are not applying. Some cannot because their countries do not allow dual citizenship. The cost attached to the process is also a factor. There are strict eligibility criteria and the test is not easy. Citizenship is not a right: it is something you have to earn, pay for and deserve.

      What do you think of Michael Gove’s proposal to grant citizenship for free to EU nationals, if he becomes the leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister?

      Great, but I’d feel uncomfortable if this applies only to Europeans. Fees are unfair for everyone and the government makes a large profit from them. Fees should be cut and the process simplified in general, especially for children. It would guarantee their future status and it would be good for the country.

      Are there groups of EU nationals applying more than others?

      Central and Eastern Europeans started to apply for British citizenship early, before the EU referendum. They were already victim of the hostile environment and they felt negatively targeted by populist media, so they tried to secure their rights earlier on. Free movement is also fairly recent for them [the country joined the EU in 2004].

      For French, Spanish, Italian and German nationals there has been a 250-300% increase in applications since the referendum, but this is mostly because few were applying before June 2016. Before the Brexit vote they felt their position in Britain was fully secured.

      Who is not applying?

      There are people who cannot apply because they do not have regular jobs, they are from minorities, for example the Roma, they struggle with the procedure or cannot afford it. We heard of parents who had to prioritize which one of their children could apply for naturalisation, as they could not afford to pay for all. There were people at the margins before Brexit and they will be even more so when they will lose the protections of EU law.

      How do children feel about these changes?

      It depends on the age. Children up to 3 years old are usually shielded by their parents. The 5-6 years old are aware that something is going on and ask questions. Teenagers are aware and sometimes join the conversation, for example participating in demonstrations. Maybe they are more conflicted about family decisions. But kids are the ones normalising the situation trying to be like others.

      Is the European identity of these families at risk?

      Not necessarily. For the first time in Britain we see large numbers of European flags. In a sense, the European identity has become a topic of conversation. For many British citizens and policy makers the EU has only just been an economic project, but now it is a political one and this can further develop. The European heritage is not going to disappear. If anything, some of the people we interviewed started teaching their language to the kids or sending them to language schools. What is clear is that the EU is a topic we will have to confront for years to come. The issue of belonging will have repercussions that can go in many directions, depending on how things will settle. One of the challenges of this research is precisely that it is happening while event are unfolding.

      https://europestreet.news/bitter-sweet-citizenship-how-european-families-in-the-uk-cope-with-br

    • Vote Leave’s position on EU and Irish citizens post-Brexit raises more questions than it answers

      On 1 June, Vote Leave issued a statement outlining its plans for a post-Brexit immigration policy. Among other matters, the statement sought to give reassurance on two status issues that would arise in the event of withdrawal: the position of resident EU citizens, and the future rights of Irish citizens. According to Bernard Ryan, their position on migrants’ rights after a Brexit raises more questions than it answers.

      http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexitvote/2016/06/07/vote-leaves-position-on-eu-and-irish-citizens-post-brexit-raises-more-q

    • Is Theresa May really threatening to deport Europeans?

      Does Theresa May really understand Brexit? Speaking to Robert Peston today, the Home Secretary seemed to be entertaining the idea of deporting European nationals staying in Britain. Or, almost as bad, using them as collateral in some negotiation with Brussels: a deeply worrying and, to me, revolting suggestion. But coming from the Home Secretary, we have no choice but to take it seriously.

      http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/07/theresa-may-want-kick-europeans
      #expulsion #renvoi

    • The UK’s EU Referendum and the victimisation of the European migrant

      On June 23rd the citizens of the UK will have to decide whether Britain will remain a member of the EU, in one of the UK’s most important referendums since World War II. Arguably, a vote to leave would spell the beginning of a new era for Europe, which could compromise the sense of solidarity between European states and their citizens.

      http://lacuna.org.uk/migration/the-uks-eu-referendum-and-the-victimisation-of-the-european-migrant
      #migrants_européens

    • How politically viable are proposals for an EU immigration ’emergency stop’?

      Arguably the major stumbling block in Brexit negotiations concerns the relationship between membership of the Single Market, and the acceptance of EU provisions on the free movement of workers. A number of commentators have already analysed the options, and weighed up their feasibility. See for example the blog by Jonathan Portes on this, and a recent FT article. Here’s my take on the question. I pay particular attention to the question of political feasibility – both in terms of the EU’s potential to accept one of these deals, and its marketability to Leave voters concerned about immigration.

      https://christinaboswell.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/how-politically-viable-are-proposals-for-an-eu-immigrati

    • Glasgow University lecturer faces deportation despite being given government research grant

      Dr #Kevin_Parsons, who now lives in Bearsden with his wife and two children, has been ordered to leave the country by June 11 or risk being deported by the Home Office.


      http://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/glasgow-uni-lecturer-faces-deportation-13094732#ICID=sharebar_faceboo

    • All the rights EU citizens in the UK are set to lose after Brexit

      LONDON — Theresa May on Monday released what she described as a “generous offer” to EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit. The plans, which will form part of the negotiations with the EU, were sold as offering Europeans living here rights which are “almost equivalent to British citizens”.

      http://static5.uk.businessinsider.com/image/59520e2b44e5a327008b48a8-1024/gettyimages-458367623.jpg
      http://www.businessinsider.fr/uk/all-the-rights-eu-citizens-in-the-uk-are-set-to-lose-after-brexit-20

    • Undocumented Germans? Diary of an EU citizen in the UK (22)

      The point here is that as a result of Brexit, the reverse may happen. But this time it will not affect only the citizens of the newer EU member states but potentially all EU 27 nationals. And while I’m sure that some kind of solution will be put in place so that EU nationals that currently live in the UK will be able to continue in some shape or form to live and work there, I am equally sure that these measures will leave some out. Recent data on detention and removal of EU nationals from the UK already show signs in this direction.

      https://nandosigona.info/2017/03/29/undocumented-germans-diary-of-an-eu-citizen-in-the-uk-22

    • ‘Not one of you any longer’: EU nationals’ Brexit uncertainty and mistrust

      The Brexit vote has plunged EU Nationals resident in the UK into uncertainty. For the first time many face profound feelings of rejection, betrayal and fear for their futures and those of their children and families. Whatever deal is struck during Brexit negotiations regarding the ‘settled status’ of EU nationals, the general trajectory of May’s Conservative Government on citizenship and immigration has been the deliberate and open pursuit of a ‘hostile environment’. The promotion of discrimination through bordering practices that permeate multiple areas of everyday life – housing, health, education, legal support and advocacy, banking services and work – has marginalised all migrants but also any person of colour. The Brexit campaign and vote has shattered the myth of Britain as an open, tolerant society.

      https://discoversociety.org/2017/12/15/not-one-of-you-any-longer-eu-nationals-brexit-uncertainty-and-mistr

    • EU citizen registration in UK could become ’#new_Windrush', say migration experts

      Critics warn many could be left without legal status to stay if settlement scheme fails.
      Migration experts have warned that the post-Brexit system for registering EU citizens living in the UK could become a new “Windrush scandal” as the scheme to register an estimated 3.5 million EU citizens living in the UK begins.

      From Monday, the third phase of testing will open to EU residents in the UK, who will be able to register for the new post-Brexit “settled status”. The Home Office is extending its live trial to all EU citizens who hold a valid passport and any non-EU citizen family members who hold a valid biometric residence card.

      Critics have warned that thousands could be left without legal status to remain in the UK if applications are not processed quickly and effectively.

      Maike Bohn, founder of the3million which campaigns for EU citizens in the UK to retain their existing rights after Brexit, warned trust in the government was low.

      “The Windrush people trusted the Home Office and many of them got deported because they were citizens but couldn’t prove it,” she said.
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      The expansion of the scheme follows two “private” test phases. The second phase saw 29,987 applications submitted with 27,211 decisions made. Of those, no cases were refused. However, the second phase was open to 250,000 people in selected universities, health and social care bodies.

      The Home Office said 70% of applicants had been granted settled status with the remaining 30% granted pre-settled status, which is given to those who have been in the country for fewer than five years. There was positive feedback from 77% of applicants.

      The immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, said: “From the very beginning we have been clear that securing the rights of EU citizens living in the UK is our priority.

      “The report into the second private test phase of the EU settlement scheme shows clearly that we are well on track to deliver a system that will make it easy and straightforward for EU citizens to obtain status once we have left the EU.

      “We are now in a position to proceed with the wider public testing of the scheme, which will provide us with further valuable insight before the full launch of the system by the end of March. We are grateful to those individuals and organisations that have participated in the testing so far.”

      The rollout comes weeks after a series of bugs were exposed in the phone app, which does not work on iPhones, including complaints that the passport recognition function did not work on all Android models.

      Politicians, migrant thinktanks and charities have warned the UK could face “another Windrush” if the settled status scheme fails.

      Chai Patel, legal policy director at the joint council for welfare of immigrants, said: “EU citizens who do not pay to apply for settled status by 2021 will lose their right to live in the UK and become undocumented.
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      “This is a major obstacle in the way of achieving the government’s promise that every EU national currently in the UK will be welcome after Brexit. By charging a fee and by setting a time limit for applications the government is making it certain that some people will not get settled status.

      “And with 3 million to 4 million people needing to register, that means creating tens or hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants overnight. The poor, the elderly, [and] those with illnesses or disabilities will be particularly affected as the government is failing to set aside enough resources to help them.

      “We therefore urge the government to do everything in its power to make sure everyone’s rights are protected after Brexit. Instead of creating a system that defaults to removing rights if a person does not pay for an application, the government should today grant a free and permanent legal right to stay to all EU nationals resident in the UK.

      “The Home Office should then provide a free and simple process by which people can obtain documents proving that right.”

      Jill Rutter, director of strategy for British Future and co-author of the report, said: “The Home Office must invest in getting the EU settlement scheme right from the start. Failure to do so could cause massive problems in years to come, on a far bigger scale than the ‘Windrush scandal’.

      “The application system should work simply and efficiently for the vast majority of EU citizens. But there will always be more complex cases where people find it harder to navigate the system or to prove their residency – and the sheer scale of this task means even a low rate of failure equates to tens of thousands of people.

      “The Home Office needs to make sure that people hear about the scheme, that it works well and that errors are remedied quickly when they are made. It must also overcome a legacy of mistrust created by the previous permanent residency scheme.

      “This is an important test for the Home Office. The stakes are high. Get it right and the UK sends a strong message that EU citizens are welcome and the government is in control. Get it wrong and the consequences are dire.”

      Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: “No one seriously believes that the Home Office will be able to grant settled status to everyone who’s eligible within two years. Thousands will be left effectively undocumented and subject to Theresa May’s hostile environment.

      “Liberal Democrats demand better for the Europeans who’ve made their lives here and contribute so much to our economy, our public services and our society. They must not become the victims of a new Windrush scandal.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/21/eu-citizen-registration-in-uk-could-become-new-windrush-say-migration-e

    • Brexit : contingents d’autorisations de séjour prévus pour les ressortissants du Royaume-Uni en cas de sortie de l’UE sans accord

      Le Conseil fédéral entend maintenir les étroites relations bilatérales nouées avec le Royaume-Uni au-delà du Brexit. En conséquence, il a arrêté, lors de sa séance du 13 février 2019, des règles d’admission qui seront applicables aux ressortissants britanniques au cas où le Royaume-Uni quitte l’Union européenne (UE) sans accord de retrait. À partir du 30 mars 2019, les Britanniques qui souhaitent entrer en Suisse pour y exercer une activité lucrative bénéficieront d’un contingent d’autorisations qui leur sera réservé. Le Département fédéral de justice et police (DFJP) va préparer à cet effet, d’ici à fin mars 2019, une révision de l’ordonnance sur l’admission, le séjour et l’exercice d’une activité lucrative (OASA).

      Dans l’éventualité où le Royaume-Uni quitterait l’UE sans accord de retrait, l’accord sur la libre circulation des personnes (ALCP) cessera de s’appliquer aux relations entre la Suisse et le Royaume-Uni dès le 30 mars 2019. À partir de cette date, les Britanniques seront alors en principe soumis au même régime que les ressortissants d’autres pays tiers. Pour ces derniers, l’exercice d’une activité lucrative est soumis aux conditions d’admission fixées dans la loi sur les étrangers et l’intégration (LEI). Au cas où le Royaume-Uni quitterait l’UE, non pas de manière désordonnée, mais en vertu d’un accord de retrait, les relations entre la Suisse et le Royaume-Uni continueraient, pendant une phase de transition qui durerait probablement jusqu’à fin 2020, d’être soumises aux dispositions actuellement en vigueur de l’ALCP.

      Dans le cadre de sa stratégie baptisée « Mind the Gap », le Conseil fédéral a décidé, lors de sa séance du 13 février 2019, de créer un contingent temporaire de 3500 autorisations de séjour en faveur des ressortissants britanniques qui exercent une activité lucrative. Il entend ainsi, d’une part, atténuer, tant pour notre économie que pour les cantons, l’impact du passage soudain des ressortissants du Royaume-Uni du régime de la libre circulation des personnes aux conditions s’appliquant aux ressortissant d’États tiers et, d’autre part, empêcher toute concurrence indésirable entre les citoyens britanniques et les ressortissants d’autres pays tiers. Par ailleurs, des discussions sont en cours au sujet de la conclusion d’un éventuel accord bilatéral entre la Suisse et le Royaume-Uni qui permettrait de déroger temporairement à certaines conditions d’admission visées par la LEI.
      Contingent de 3500 autorisations

      Les nombres maximums d’autorisations de séjour fixés en faveur des ressortissants britanniques seront utilisables durant la période du 30 mars au 31 décembre 2019. Le Conseil fédéral a pris sa décision aussi bien en tenant compte de la position des cantons et des besoins de l’économie qu’à la lumière des prescriptions de l’article sur l’immigration inscrit dans la Constitution fédérale depuis le 9 février 2014 (art. 121a Cst.).

      En tout, 3500 travailleurs devraient pouvoir être recrutés au Royaume-Uni cette année : 2100 au moyen d’une autorisation de séjour B et 1400 de plus sur la base d’une autorisation de séjour de courte durée L. Ces deux contingents apporteront à l’économie suisse la flexibilité dont elle a besoin.

      Ces contingents seront alloués trimestriellement aux cantons. Les autorisations de séjour ainsi octroyées ne seront provisoirement pas soumises à la procédure d’approbation, et seront donc délivrées sous compétence cantonale. Cette mesure tient compte de la situation extraordinaire du Royaume-Uni ; elle constitue une solution transitoire, dans l’attente d’une clarification du futur régime migratoire concernant cet État.

      D’ici à fin mars, le DFJP réalisera les travaux nécessaires à la révision de l’OASA et soumettra son projet au Conseil fédéral pour décision définitive.

      En décembre déjà, le Conseil fédéral avait approuvé un accord avec le Royaume-Uni portant sur les droits des citoyens suisses et britanniques après que le Royaume-Uni aura quitté l’UE (Brexit). Cet accord bénéficiera aux ressortissants suisses et britanniques qui ont acquis des droits (par ex. droits de séjour) en Suisse ou au Royaume-Uni en vertu de l’ALCP. Le Conseil fédéral entend ainsi garantir le maintien de leurs droits et obligations actuels après le Brexit.

      https://www.admin.ch/gov/fr/accueil/documentation/communiques.msg-id-73962.html