Surrey Lib Dems stand up for nearly 5,000 EU citizens left in limbo as ‘Settled Status’ backlog soars

March 16, 2021 10:47 PM
By Cllr Will Forster

The Lib Dems called on Surrey County Council to support EU citizens living locally and lobby the Government to grant EU citizens the automatic right to stay in the UK.

During this week's Full Council meeting, Councillor Chris Botten and the Lib Dems tabled a motion after new Home Office figures reveal that 4800 people in Surrey are still waiting for a decision on their 'Settled Status' application.

The latest EU Settlement Scheme statistics show that, as of the end of December, there have been 75,760 applications from people living in Surrey, but only 70,960 of these have been concluded.

The figures also reveal that 27,320 people in Surrey have only been granted temporary 'Pre-Settled Status'. That means a total of 32,120 Surrey applicants have still not been given the permanent right to stay.

Lib Dem Group Leader on Surrey County Council, Chris Botten, said:

"Far too many EU nationals in Surrey are still living under a cloud of uncertainty. They must have the right to stay, and Surrey County Council should be standing up for them."

"EU citizens are an integral part of our Surrey communities. They are our friends and family, and Lib Dems will always stand up for them. We will keep fighting to secure their automatic right to stay, with the physical proof they need."

"Boris Johnson and the Conservatives promised to guarantee automatically the rights of EU nationals to stay, but they have broken that promise, as they have with so many others."

"The enormous backlog shows that the Government's botched scheme is anything but automatic. It puts thousands of EU citizens at risk of becoming the victims of a new Windrush-style Scandal."

Chris Botten's motion was referred to the Council's Cabinet meeting on 30th March for a final decision.