Press Release EU Settlement Scheme 14.04
14 April 2021 13:37

PRESS RELEASE  - For Immediate Release   

 

Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice helping to protect local EU residents from losing the right to live in the ​UK.

 

With less than 3 months remaining of the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice are, once again, helping to protect the rights of local people, as concerns rise that many EU residents will soon, unknowingly, lose their right to live, work or study in the UK.

The potential impact would also have an effect on local employers and landlords.  

Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice are asking the local community member and businesses to help raise awareness of the deadline of the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme, and urge those who are yet to apply to act now to protect their right to live, study, work, access NHS services, and benefit entitlements in the UK.

Following the UK's departure from the European Union (BREXIT) all EU, EEA and Swiss nationals, including children, who were living in the UK on 31 December must apply for secure immigration status through the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme, by the 30th June 2021.

Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice are concerned there may be an unknown number of eligible people, including; children within care, disabled, vulnerable adults, elderly – at risk of slipping through the net, due to a number of factors including the pandemic. These individuals could soon be facing job loss, homelessness, potential criminal charges, and deportation. A recent bid by campaigners to extend the June deadline was rejected by the high court. 

Luca Badioli, CEO of Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice is concerned that the potential impact this may have on the local community, and also businesses, could be devastating. 

 

“ If you are a landlord or employer and you rent your premises to or employ an EU, EEA or Swiss national, and they were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 it is vital that you inform them that they and their children must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to protect their existing rights in the UK. EU Citizens enrich our culture and have played a huge part in our society in Arun, Chichester and across the whole of West Sussex and the entire UK. From front line and key workers to agriculture they have played a crucial role in how we have continued throughout the pandemic.’

With the deadline of 30th June fast approaching the charity also fear that the people who have yet to apply are likely to be the most vulnerable and long-standing residents who may not realise this change applies to them. 

 “Many may not also realise that they must apply for their children even if they were born in the UK.” said Luca Badioli. 

 The impact on local services, and the economy, are potentially very damaging and will place an additional burden on public services and staff. 

Initial data collected from the Home Office pilot suggest that those who did apply around 23% struggled with the process and around 8% did not have access to the digital support they needed to apply.   

It is thought that some groups are more likely to have not applied or struggled and therefore are at increased risk of further vulnerability including;  

 

  • Those who cannot prove their residence - e.g. victims of domestic abuse, homeless, unemployed but not applied for benefits 
  • Those who do not have limited or no digital access or have no digital skills. 
  • People with, language and literacy barriers make it difficult for them to decode legal information in order to make a successful application.  
  • Those who are afraid to apply 
  • Those who do not realise they need to apply – long-standing residents, retired people, children of EU nationals, migrants to Europe e.g. refugees gaining EU citizenship 
  • Those who lack capacity - long-standing EU nationals' residents in care homes, or vulnerable young adults.  
  • European spouses of British nationals 

 

More information regarding EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME is available on the charity’s web page https://bit.ly/thebrexiteffect 

 

If you or someone you know are an EU Citizens who may require assistance with; applying to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30th June 2021; access to Interpreters; or,  if you are a business owner and would like further advice or information please call Arun Chichester Citizens Advice, FREE, on  0344 477 1171 (Mon to Fri 9am - 4:30pm)  or visit  

www.arunchichester.org.uk    

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For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:   

 

Paul Davies,  

Campaigns & Communications Manager, Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice  

Tel: 07854027769  

Email: p.davies@arunchichestercab.org.uk  

  

We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward - whoever they are, and whatever their problem. 

  

Notes to editors:  

  1. Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice are currently offering advice and information over the phone (0808 278 7969), and via web chat and via email and web chat only : www.arunchichestercab.org.uk   
  2. In 2020 Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice helped people deal with over 23,000 issues and helped our community by bring in an additional £2.4million into our local economy to help those in financial need.
  3. People can find frequently updated advice on a range of issues related to the Coronavirus outbreak at  www.arunchichestercab.org.uk 
  4. The availability of face-to-face services is currently suspended due to the recent pandemic. If people need to speak to someone for advice, they should check our website or call our team.  
  5. All advice and support is free, confidential, independent and impartial.  
  6. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.  
  7. Nationally Citizens Advice helped 2.8 million people face to face, over the phone, by email, and web chat in 2019-20, and we had 34.5 million visits to our website
  8. The Times recently reported by that, despite official figures estimating only 2,000 EU Citizens lived within Arun, the Home Office data show that 12,000 Citizens within Arun were granted the right to remain in the UK under the EU settlement scheme.