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Debates
Tuesday, 14 January 2020 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Implementing and monitoring the provisions on citizens’ rights in the Withdrawal Agreement (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Lucy Nethsingha (Renew). – Madam President, the UK joined the European Community before I was born. For 47 years, EU citizens have been confident of their rights in the UK.

A friend of mine who moved to the UK 40 years ago thought she would never have to choose between her birth country and the UK. Her rights have been changed hugely by Brexit, and that is a very different situation from all those who moved to the UK from the rest of the world. My friend married, brought up her children, divorced, worked for decades as a chaplain supporting the most vulnerable in her community. Now in her late 70s she is razor sharp and fully aware of the impact Brexit has on her and her rights.

But there are many like her, elderly women who moved to the UK with their husbands over 40 years ago, who are not so able. Many who have dementia or other health issues, which make it even harder to prove their right to remain – just as importantly their rights to access critical services such as health and social care.

The current application process is not easy, particularly for those who are unaccustomed to filling in online forms. The information that only a tiny proportion are refused is yet another example of why so many do not trust the Conservatives. Millions have applied and not been granted settled status. They remain in legal limbo with status neither granted nor refused and their rights not guaranteed.

We fear for another Windrush scandal, and the sick and the vulnerable will be most at risk.

 
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