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Woking Liberal Democrats

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EU Citizens in Woking face 60 mile round trip for Settled Status

March 6, 2019 6:32 PM
By Will Forster.
EU Citizens in Woking face 60 mile round trip to register for Settled Status
The Lib Dems and I have slammed the Conservative Government for their "hapless treatment" of European Union (EU) citizens after the Home Office released guidance on the new EU Settlement Scheme.
The Home Office has confirmed that for the duration of the trial period, EU nationals applying to stay in the UK must either use an Android phone or travel to one of 13 'document scanning' centres instead.
For Woking and all of Surrey, the closest 'document scanning' centre is in Peckham, south London. According to analysis by the Lib Dems, EU citizens travelling from Woking, would face costs of almost £20 on the train for a 1 hour and 40 minute round trip. The drive would be a 60 mile round trip costing around £15 in fuel.
Lib Dem County Councillor for Woking South, Will Forster, said:
"Too many people in Woking are deeply anxious about their right to stay. Many of them fill vital roles in the health service, our schools and the tourism sector. They want to register as soon as possible, but Theresa May's hapless treatment of EU nationals could result in a new Windrush scandal."
"For anyone who does not have an Android phone, this botched scheme means they will have to travel. For people in in Woking that means facing a 60 mile round trip and forking out money unnecessarily. This postcode lottery is simply unacceptable. Following significant pressure, the Prime Minister said there will be no financial barrier for any EU citizens who wish to stay. How long did that commitment last?"
"It is Conservative Ministers who have made a mess of Brexit. They should either pay the cost for EU nationals or change the application system and ensure Europeans are made to feel welcome in the UK. Ultimately, the best way to avoid all of this mess is by giving the people the option to remain in the EU with a final say on Brexit."