At the Moseley Forum hustings for the Mayoral election all the candidates were asked to support the campaign by The 3 million to promote the EU settlement scheme, support EU /EEA/Swiss citizens up to and beyond the deadline of 30th June and to advocate for continued local voting rights.
It was hugely disappointing to hear Andy Street state that voting rights had to be a reciprocal arrangement with each separate EU country. By not lobbying his own party for unilateral voting rights to be given to every EU/EEA/Swiss citizen with settled status he is effectively condoning the removal of the only chance millions of people have of a democratic say in the governance of the city, town or region some will have called their homes for decades. It is a terrible thing to do to thousands of people who have already been disenfranchised by the EU referendum, another vote they were unable to take part in.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for all EU citizens in the UK to be given the automatic right to stay, as new figures reveal that 323,800 are still waiting for the Home Office to process their applications. The party is warning that those who aren’t given ‘Settled Status’ by the 30th June deadline could “become the victims of another Windrush-style scandal”.
Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said: “The Conservatives must guarantee the rights of EU citizens who’ve made their lives here, and contribute enormously to our economy, our public services and our society. They must not become the victims of a new Windrush-style scandal. “Over 320,000 of our friends and neighbours are facing the cruel anxiety of hoping the Home Office will grant their applications before the cliff-edge at the end of June.“There is a serious risk that hundreds of thousands of people will be left effectively undocumented and exposed to the Conservatives’ Hostile Environment. We can’t afford the Government to ignore these warnings any longer.“EU citizens in the UK have been living under a cloud of uncertainty for far too long and the buck stops with Boris Johnson who promised them the automatic right to stay. He must deliver on his promise.”