Mayor launches ‘LondonIsOpen’ bus on four-day tour of capital

29 March 2019

 

  • Immigration advice roadshow for EU Londoners and their families launches day before Government’s‘ settled status’ scheme opens

 

  • Sadiq ‘appalled’ at the way Europeans who contribute to London have been left vulnerable and uncertain by the Government during Brexit negotiations
  • ‘LondonIsOpen’ bus will tour capital helping Londoners who are EU citizens to apply to stay and showing them that London will always be their home

 

  • Mayor also launches full version of City Hall’s online EU Londoners Hub

 

  • City Hall hosts an advice drop-in centre for EU Londoners

 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will today launch a ‘LondonIsOpen’ bus on a four-day tour of the capital, providing crucial advice and guidance to European nationals who wish to remain in London post-Brexit and who have been left in limbo by the Government during the continued uncertainty of the Brexit negotiations.

 

The bus will begin its journey visiting areas of London with high numbers of European nationals the day before Government launches its EU Settlement Scheme. This is the process that EU citizens and their families will need to apply for if they wish to remain in the UK after it leaves the EU.

 

The bus, staffed by immigration lawyers, working pro-bono, and volunteers offering free advice and information, will provide crucial reassurance and guidance to EU Londoners whose rights have been overlooked during the Brexit process.

 

The change to the rights of EU nationals is by far the biggest alteration in immigration status for a generation. The Mayor is concerned that it has caused a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty for the more than one million EU citizens who have made London their home, and for their families and friends. 

 

Covering ten boroughs in four days, the roadshow will help City Hall engage with hard-to-reach communities and vulnerable European Londoners who are most at risk of not applying for Settled Status. Community centres, libraries and employers such as Westfield and Heathrow Airport are among the stops on the route.

 

The bus, branded with ‘We Are All Londoners’ in European languages, marks the latest part of the Mayor’s London Is Open campaign, which aims to show the world that, despite Brexit, London is united and open and that EU Londoners still belong here.

 

Alongside this, the Mayor is also launching the full version of City Hall’s online EU Londoners Hub. This Hub supports EU Londoners through the Settled Status process and includes information on how to access expert legal guidance, translation services and other crucial information.

 

Today, City Hall will also be hosting an advice drop-in centre comprising a number of support services for EU Londoners. As well as pro-bono immigration lawyers providing immigration advice, there will also be stalls hosted by the Citizens Advice Bureau and community groups such as the East European Resource Centre and New Europeans.

 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I know that many Londoners who are EU nationals are still unsure about their future and the process they will need to complete in order to remain here. I am absolutely appalled that the Government has left our EU citizens feeling this way.

 

“I’m delighted to launch our LondonIsOpen bus today, which will be travelling around the capital and helping EU Londoners apply for the Government’s Settled Status scheme, while also sending out the message that they are Londoners and our capital will always be their home.

 

“EU citizens make an amazing contribution to life in London and are part of the fabric of this city – from nurses to teachers and construction workers to business people, they work hard, pay their taxes and play a major role in our civic and cultural life.

 

“The least we owe these Londoners is to make it as easy as possible for them to stay in the UK after Brexit.”

 

The route has been specifically selected, following engagement with community groups, to ensure the bus visits venues in parts of the capital with the highest populations of EU Londoners, particularly those most vulnerable.

 

Tahmid Chowdhury, Co-founder of Here for Good, an immigration advice charity, who will be on the bus, said: “We’re proud to continue our partnership with the Mayor of London, building on our EU Londoners Hub work to take volunteer lawyers across the capital to communities that need their support.

 

“Citizens’ rights represent the human challenge of Brexit. As a young but committed charity, we’re focused on helping those who need our help to stay here for good.”

 

Joanna Mludzinska, Chair of Polish Social and Cultural Association (POSK) in Hammersmith, one of the destinations for the bus, said:The UK’s decision to leave the European Union created substantial uncertainty for over 3.5 EU nationals who made Britain their home and invested in their future here, including just under a million Poles, of which some 200,000 live in the capital. Many of them have moved here over the last 15 years, but others have been here for decades, dating as far back as to Polish soldiers who settled here after the Second World War.

“We are proud to be working with the Mayor of London and East European Resource Centre to provide them with necessary reassurance and support in what is likely to be a stressful process of applying for settled status and to make sure they continue to feel here at home.”

 

Professor Amanda Broderick, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of East London, the first destination of the bus, said: “Diversity is a core value at the University of East London and also one of our significant strengths. Our students come from a myriad of backgrounds, with over 140 different nationalities represented, and we are committed to strengthening the diversity of the talent pipeline.

 

“Our European students, staff, neighbours and business associates are an integral part of the University of East London community, and we are proud to partner with London Mayor Sadiq Khan and City Hall to offer free legal advice and guidance to EU nationals at our Stratford Campus. The University of East London is open to everyone.”

 

Earlier this week, the Mayor announced that he is awarding micro-grants of around £5,000 to six different community organisations who are supporting EU Londoners with help and information to stay in the UK after Brexit.

This is the programme’s second round of funding, building on a previous tranche of £20,000 given to nine community organisations at the end of last year.

Notes to editors

 

  • The Mayor has secured financial support from partners in order to fund the advice roadshow.

 

  • Pro-bono legal advice is being provided through the support of Here for Good, Wesley Gryk Solicitors LLP, Fragomen LLP and Bindmans LLP.

 

  • Research from the Migration Observatory highlights the risk of people not being aware that they can and need to apply for Settled Status and people with vulnerabilities who will face barriers to applying successfully.

 

 

 

BUS ROUTE

  

1

City Hall, SE1 3LW

Bus at City Hall 9.30am to 10am. City Hall drop in centre open from 10am to 4pm.

2

University of East London, Stratford Campus

10.40am – 1.30pm

3

Woolwich Centre Library/General Gordon Square, Water Lane, London E15 4LZ

 

2.30pm - 4.30pm

 

Day 2 - Saturday 30 March – West London

 

Stops

Location

Timings

1

Polish Social and Cultural Association (POSK),238-246 King St, Hammersmith, London W6 0RF

11.30am - 1.30pm

2

Westfield, Shepherd's Bush, outside Jamie’s Italian Restaurant, Ariel Way, White City, London W12 7GF - Entrance via Wood Lane

 

2.00pm - 6.00pm

 

 

Day 3 – Sunday 31 March – North London

 

Stops

Location

Timings

1

Wood Green Shopping Centre,11 High Rd, Wood Green, London N22 6DS

10.00am- 12:30pm

2

Church Lane, Leytonstone (near Leytonstone tube station),London E11 1HE

1.15pm - 3.15pm

3

Migrant Resource Centre, Haringey, Berol House, 25 Ashley Road, London N17 9LJ

4pm - 6pm

 

Day 4 – Monday 1 April - West and central London

 

Stops

Location 

Timings

1

Heathrow Airport, Bay 10 of Terminal 3 car park

10-12pm

2

Willesden Green, Brent, High Road, opposite Costa Coffee. NW10 2QD

1-3pm

3

Latin American House, Camden, Kingsgate Pl, London NW6 4TA

4-6pm

 

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