Brexit scheme that reinstates EU citizens’ right to stay in UK illegally, High Court rules | Politics news | Daily News Byte

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The High Court has ruled that the government’s Brexit scheme, which means EU citizens will have to reapply for the right to live and work in the UK, is unlawful.

The EU Settlement Scheme opened in March 2019 and meant that all EU citizens who wanted to stay in the UK after the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 had to apply for residence by June 2021.

If they had lived in the UK for a continuous period of five years at that time, they were granted permanent status but those who had been in the UK for a shorter period were granted pre-settled status.

EU citizens with pre-settled status must reapply for permanent status as soon as they reach five years of permanent residence in the UK or risk losing their residence rights, meaning they cannot work, access healthcare and education and housing and benefits. cannot apply for

The Independent Monitoring Authority, a body set up to monitor citizens’ rights, took legal action against the Home Office in November after it argued the government was breaching its withdrawal agreement with the EU.

On Wednesday, Lord Justice Lane ruled that the scheme was unlawful.

The Home Office intends to appeal the decision and said the status of EU citizens will remain the same while it is being done.

No EU nationals are currently affected as the five years they have to stay in the UK before reapplying for permanent status does not end until August 2023.

Those who already have permanent status do not need to reapply anyway so are not affected in any way.

Home Office Minister Lord Murray said: “EU citizens are our friends and neighbors and we take our responsibilities to protect their rights in the UK very seriously.

“The EU Settlement Scheme goes above and beyond our obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement, protecting the rights of EU citizens and giving them a way to settle in the UK.

“We are disappointed by this ruling, which we intend to appeal.”

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