As the EU and the UK make their preparations for the possibility of no-deal Brexit, a parliamentary committee in the UK have warned that EU citizens currently living in the UK could be at risk of losing some of their rights.
The group of MP’s have warned that EU citizens could – under changes to immigration laws – lose their right to freedom of movement, as well as some of their rights to social security and housing. They claim that they would be “in a rights limbo, subject to subsequent negotiation.”
Under the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, the rights of EU nationals would, according to the committee, be “diminished,” which is causing “significant human rights concerns.”
It’s estimated that, as of 2018, there were 3.7 million people living in the UK who were from another EU member state, which is 6% of the total population in the UK. Around 83% of these citizens are working, with other studying or visiting the UK. The committee says that these citizens’ rights need to be protected going forward.
MP Harriet Harman, Chair of the UK Parliament Human Rights Committee said in an interview: “We’re talking about the rights of people who have resided in the UK for years, decades even, paying into our social security system or even having been born in the UK and lived here their whole lives “
“When it comes to rights, promising that everything will be worked out in the future is not good enough, it must be a guarantee, which is why the Committee have reinserted rights guarantees back into the wording of the Bill.”
In a government statement, EU citizens living in the UK were reassured that their rights wouldn’t be affected after Brexit and the government is planning to launch a Settlement Scheme. This means that citizens will be able to register for free on an online portal and protect their rights going forward.
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