Judith Bunting, Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East of England, has condemned the news, revealed by official figures, that over one hundred thousand EU nationals living in the region have not been offered permanent residency in the UK.
The Liberal Democrats have accused the government of leaving local families from the EU in “legal limbo” and throwing people’s lives into uncertainty. Of the 234,150 EU nationals across the South East who have applied for permanent residency, only 124,560 (53%) have been offered settled status, which only gives the temporary right to stay in the UK.
Another 38,600 (16%) of EU nationals living in the South East have applied for permanent residency but are still waiting for a final decision to be made.
The status of children is also part of the uncertainty, with 26,980 of the applications for settled status in the South East for those under the age of 18.
Judith says: “Too many EU nationals in the South East are deeply anxious about their right to stay. Many of them fill vital roles in our health service and our schools. It’s disgraceful for the Conservative government to leave them in legal limbo like this.
“I have spoken to constituents who, three years on, are still waiting for their status to be clarified and have young children who will be significantly affected by this lack of clarity.
“Families and children must not be made to live under a cloud of uncertainty any longer.
“The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit, protect the rights of EU citizens and build a brighter future for our country.”