There are approximately one million EU citizens living in London. Following the EU referendum in June 2016, and the start of UK Government negotiations with the EU, the Mayor has consistently called on the Government to provide a cast-iron guarantee to EU nationals that they are welcome to stay in the UK after Brexit.
Advice for European Londoners
As the Mayor has said: “You are Londoners, you are welcome here and you deserve a commitment from the Government that you can stay”.
Whatever the outcome of negotiations, EU citizens need access to accurate and up-to-date information and advice about their rights. To make the process as straightforward as possible, the Mayor intends to launch an online portal for EU citizens in the capital.
The portal will provide information about European citizens’ rights post-Brexit and links to advice and support services in London. It will also direct users to expert legal advice, support services and guidance on employment rights.
On 21 June 2018, the Government published a ‘Statement of Intent’ which includes up-to-date information about their intention to launch an EU Settlement Scheme in Autumn 2018. EU citizens and their families will be able to apply for settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme.
The Mayor has said: “It is absolutely vital that the Government guarantees that any new registration system for these Londoners – and the more than two million EU citizens living outside the capital – is simple, quick and easily accessible.
It is disappointing that the Government has not used this as an opportunity to show EU nationals living in the UK goodwill by making this process free of charge to people resident in our country. At the very least, those who moved here before the referendum took place shouldn't be expected to pay to stay.”
There is no need for EU citizens living in the UK to do anything now. There will be no change to the status of EU citizens living in the UK while the UK remains in the EU.
The Mayor’s online portal will be developed in the coming months. In the meantime, there are a number of places Londoners can go for further information:
- Government information for EU citizens living in the UK - the most up-to-date information on the Government’s plans for ‘settled status’ - which is the anticipated new status of EU nationals. The Government have committed to making the application process as streamlined, quick and user-friendly as possible. The online application form is expected to go live in late 2018. The webpage is available in a number of European languages
- Citizens Advice - details on how to contact your nearest Citizens Advice. They say that you do not need to take any action now, but if you think you have been discriminated against since the referendum (for example if you’ve been unfairly refused work or housing, or told your rights have changed) you should contact your nearest Citizens Advice
- New Europeans – survival guides - four guides produced by New Europeans. They include information on citizenship rights post-Brexit, as well as more on how to get involved in the community and how to get involved politically as an EU citizen living in the UK
- European Commission Q&A - read more about the rights of European and UK citizens in various situations. It is available in a number of European languages
- UKCEN - UK Citizenship for European Nationals provides free advice on obtaining residence documentation for EEA nationals and their family via their facebook page
- Free Movement - a guide on how to apply for “settled status” with question and answers about the application process
- The3million - a checklist a things EU Nationals could consider doing now in advance of settled status opening
- Embassies and high commissions - you may also want to contact the relevant foreign embassy or high commission in London in case they can provide further information or resources