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June 22, 2021

No 10 urges EU nationals in Britain to apply for settled status

P
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June 22, 2021

LONDON: The Government has said it is working hard to identify tens of thousands of Europeans living in the UK who have yet to apply for a new post-Brexit residency scheme ahead next week’s cut-off date.

Downing Street said only a “small minority” of those eligible for the settled status scheme – which closes at the end of the month – had yet to come forward. It comes amid concerns that tens of thousands of EU citizens – as well as nationals of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – could have their benefits cut off if they miss the June 30 deadline.

The Times reported that official estimates circulating in Whitehall at the start of the month calculated that of the 820,000 European benefits claimants in the UK, around 130,000 had yet to apply. Of those, around 90,000 were said to be in receipt of universal credit.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the Government was encouraging those who had not put in an application to do so as soon as possible. “We are making sure that anyone receiving benefits is given every opportunity to apply to the EU settlement scheme,” the spokesman said.

“We are working hard to identify existing claimants who are yet to apply and encouraging them to do so. Anyone who has applied for the scheme by the June 30 deadline will have their rights protected until their application is decided.

“In line with the (Brexit) Withdrawal Agreement, those who have reasonable grounds for missing the deadline will be able to make a late application.“We will continue to work hard to identify the remaining small minority who have not yet come forward.”