Orkney and Shetland MP and Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Home Affairs, Alistair Carmichael, is calling on any remaining EU citizens in the isles who have not yet applied to the EU settlement scheme to do so urgently ahead of the deadline at the end of the month, after UK ministers today indicated that anyone who has a “reasonable excuse” for failing to apply in time will still be able to register.
Government immigration enforcement officials will begin giving EU citizens who live in the UK a 28-day warning to apply to remain. But the Home Office will allow people indefinite time to complete an application for settled status if they have a reasonable excuse for delay.
Mr Carmichael wrote to all EU citizens in the isles last month to warn them of the impending deadline and offer support to those who still needed to apply, with a number of constituents responding to request help. There is a week to go until the deadline for applications, with around 400,000 cases outstanding around the UK.
Mr Carmichael said:
“I am glad that the vast majority of EU citizens in the isles appear to have their settled status sorted, but as the responses I have received in the past weeks have shown, there may yet be some who need to take action to secure their position. I would urge anyone who is eligible but has not yet applied to the settlement scheme to do so now – and contact my office if they have any difficulties.
“Priti Patel’s stubborn refusal to lift her arbitrary deadline for Settled Status applications is causing enormous confusion and uncertainty. None of this extra chaos and bureaucracy is necessary. It could all have been avoided if Boris Johnson and Priti Patel had kept their promise to guarantee EU citizens the automatic right to stay.
“With a week to go, I want to ensure that no islanders who are EU citizens are left behind. If they had any humanity or common sense the government would scrap the deadline outright, right now. In the meantime, however, we have to make sure that our friends and neighbours are supported.”