EU Citizens Scheme update

EU Citizens Scheme update

The government will not appeal a court ruling that said its EU Settlement Scheme is unlawful the Home Office has confirmed.

The Home Office had previously stated it was going to challenge the High Court’s decision over its plan, which would have seen EU citizens have to apply again to stay and live in the UK, but on Friday 17 February confirmed it would not go ahead.

The Home Office has confirmed it will not appeal against the ruling, despite previously indicating it would do so.

The EUSS scheme was brought in by the government in March 2019 and would have seen more than 2.5 million EU citizens face automatically losing their right to live in the UK if they did not make another application for settled or pre-settled status within five years.

The plan was questioned in the courts by the Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) – the watchdog set up by the government to look after EU citizen’s rights in the UK post Brexit. This argued it breached the withdrawal agreement made between the UK and the EU.

In December the high court ruled the EUSS was unlawful, stating the scheme had been based on an incorrect interpretation of that agreement.

With initial plans to appeal against the decision the Home Office have since released a statement on Friday 17 March “After careful consideration, we have informed the court that we do not wish to pursue the appeal against the recent judgement relating to the EU Settlement Scheme”.

A spokesman said ‘Those with pre-settled status are encouraged to apply for settled status as soon as they are eligible so they can obtain secure evidence of their right of permanent residence In the UK.’

Campaign group

The 3Million, which represents EU citizens in the UK, welcomed the government’s decision not to pursue an appeal, saying EU citizens had been “dealing with uncertainty long enough” “It is now vital that the secretary of state urgently develops plans to secure the residence rights of EU citizens and we stand ready and willing to work with them to achieve this.”

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