EU settled status scheme passes million mark

More than a million EU27 nationals living in the UK have now been granted settled or pre-settled status under the government's EU Settlement Scheme, the Home Office has announced.

Workers walking on a city street in the UK
The scheme, which was launched nationally at the end of March, is aimed at guaranteeing the post-Brexit rights of the three million-plus EU citizens already resident in the UK.Home Office figures show that, by the start of this month, more than 950,000 applications had been received in England, 50,000 in Scotland, 15,000 in Wales and 12,000 in Northern Ireland. The highest number of applications came from people originally from Poland, Romania, Italy and Portugal.

Home Office: "EU citizens have made incredible contributions" to the UK

Home Office Minister Brandon Lewis said: "EU citizens have made incredible contributions to our country – which is why I’m so pleased that over one million people have been granted status, enshrining their rights in law."The EU Settlement Scheme is designed to make it straightforward for EU citizens and their family members to stay after the UK leaves the EU. To apply they only need to complete three key steps – prove their identity, show that they live in the UK and declare any criminal convictions."The figures showed that, during July, 56% were granted full status and 42% were granted pre-settled status, which can be updated to full status once an applicant has lived in the UK continuously for five years.

EU citizens and family members will have until 31 December 2020 to apply

Neil Yorke, director at The Best Connection employment group, commented: "The Best Connection is proud to be one of the largest employers of EU nationals in the UK."We have received helpful guidance from the Home Office which, along with our own initiatives, has encouraged our EU national workforce to apply and obtain status so that they continue to live and work in the UK after Brexit.
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"Deal or no deal, EU citizens and their family members will have until at least December 31 2020 to apply. The figure of one million people having been granted status has been obtained from internal management information and is not part of the published statistics."

EU27 nationals have a 83.3% employment rate in the UK

The Home Office figures came a day after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that the number of EU27 nationals working in the UK had increased over the past year. About 2.37 million EU nationals were estimated to be in paid employment in the UK in the second quarter of 2019, an increase of 4% on the year earlier.Although this was interpreted as showing Europeans were not being deterred by Brexit from coming to the UK to work, Madeleine Sumption, director of Oxford University’s Migration Observatory, said the statistics tended to “hop around from year to year”.The ONS data also showed the employment rate among EU27 nationals in the UK stood at 83.3% in Q2, compared to 76.1% for UK nationals.

For more news on EU nationals in the UK, visit our Brexit or United Kingdom sections.

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