Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Brexit: EU nationals will have to apply for identity cards

Brexit: EU nationals will have to apply for identity cards Brexit: EU nationals will have to apply for identity cards
Troy Mann | 29 June, 2017, 19:41

"Currently non-British EU citizens are entitled to be joined in the United Kingdom by their non-EU family members - including extended family such as parents - without a financial means test and with minimal fees".

Previously, EU citizens were granted permanent residency - the right to live and work in the United Kingdom without visas - after being in the United Kingdom for five years.

It said those who had lived in Britain for five years by an as yet unspecified cut-off point could acquire "settled status", similar to permanent residency.

European Union citizens who do not have five years' residence at the time of the UK's exit but are on "pathway" to settled status will be able to access the same benefits as now - equal access for those in work and limited benefit access for unemployed.

The warnings come after the Tory Government, now working in tandem with the hard-right DUP, released its plan for the future of the UK's three million European Union citizens after an full year of anxiety over their future status under Brexit.

May promised to end the "anxiety" of 3.2 million European nationals but is on a collision course with Brussels after vowing that the European Court of Justice would not be allowed to protect their rights. The government paper says, at the earliest, it will be March 29, 2017 - when Theresa May triggered Article 50, marking the start of the formal Brexit process.

For its part, the European Commission is pledging to match the five year threshold for permanent residence in the EU for United Kingdom citizens. "As such, we want to protect the Common Travel Area arrangements, and Irish citizens residing in the United Kingdom will not need to apply for settled status to protect their entitlements".

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European rules already allow member states to expel other EU citizens on security grounds, and between 4,000 and 5,000 EU prisoners were deported from Britain previous year, according to the interior ministry.

Maltese living in the United Kingdom will have to apply for a special status after Brexit, according to a proposal by the British government. "After the United Kingdom has left the European Union, EU citizens with settled status will be able to bring family members from overseas on the same terms as British nationals".

"Such persons will also be eligible to apply for maintenance support on the same basis they do now".

Despite receiving a frosty response when she outlined the proposals at the Brussels summit on Friday, the Prime Minister insisted the reaction from some individual leaders had been "very positive". Irish nationals won't need to apply as their status will be protected by the Common Travel Area agreement with Britain.

Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice now said: "Theresa May has put Britain on a path to a more closed society of ID cards and family income checks for our own nearest neighbours, while continuing to treat the right to healthcare as a bargaining chip in the Brexit negotiations".

European nationals would not have the right to vote, but could obtain it by becoming citizens.

David Montague, chief executive of housing association L&Q, said: "If we want to build more homes we must welcome skilled construction workers wherever they come from".

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