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I am writing to you as a constituent to express my concerns over the Government’s plans to end freedom of movement with the EU immediately after a no deal Brexit on 31st October.
The previous Government had agreed to a transition period until the end of 2020 to ensure EU citizens have time to apply for Settled Status. At present, just over one million Settled Status applications have been processed by the Government, leaving approximately two million citizens in legal limbo.
It is clear that the UK is unable to grant all European citizens currently here a new immigration status within the next two months. The Government is stripping European citizens of their lawful status overnight, leaving them open to discrimination and exploitation.
Without a transition period, European citizens will immediately be subject to the UK’s “hostile environment” policies which require them to prove their right to rent, work and access services in this country. For those whose application has not yet been processed, it will be extremely difficult to prove their legal status in the country, despite being residents.
What is even more concerning is the Government’s plans to change European citizens’ immigration status via secondary legislation, avoiding parliamentary scrutiny.
The Immigration and Social Security Co-Ordination Bill is currently awaiting its third reading in Parliament. This would be an opportunity for MPs to scrutinise the Government’s plan and implement safeguards to EU citizens rights via amendments.
Ending freedom of movement is wrong and should be opposed. Ending freedom of movement without a transition period and with no alternative immigration system in place endangers our European colleagues, friends and neighbours. Members of Parliament must ask the Home Secretary to abandon her plans to end free movement without a transition period on 31st October and instead follow the democratic process in Parliament which allows our elected representatives to scrutinise her actions.
I look forward to hearing from you.