Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on the proposed “EU settlement scheme: Statement of Intent”, published on 21 June.
Responding to the release of the UK’s policy paper “EU Settlement Scheme statement of intent” policy paper, which describes how EU citizens and their families can obtain settled status in the UK, Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator, today issued a statement on behalf of its Brexit Steering Group:
“While we have taken note and welcomed the UK Government’s statement of intent outlining how the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme will work, we still have a number of outstanding concerns. We ask the UK Government to take these on board during the consultation and testing phase of the Scheme before its official launch.”
“We urge the UK Government to provide as soon as possible and in advance of the tabling of draft legislation details on the powers and responsibilities of Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) for EU27 citizens in the UK. It is vital that this independent authority, which will be capable of conducting inquiries, receiving complaints and taking legal action before a UK court or tribunal, is up and running by the 30 March 2019.”
“MEPs remain unhappy that EU27 citizens in the UK, who have contributed to British society and paid their taxes, will have to pay for registration. We continue to believe this process should be cost-free, in keeping with the European Parliament’s longstanding position on this matter. ”
“More needs to be done to ensure that vulnerable EU citizens are properly catered for and that any delays faced by citizens with the registration process itself does not create unnecessary anxiety.”
“The Brexit Steering Group has agreed to investigate the extent to which EU27 countries have prepared for the implementation of the withdrawal agreement regarding British citizens on the continent. The European Parliament will stand up for the rights of all those impacted by Brexit.”
In their resolutions, MEPs have repeatedly stressed the importance of securing equal and fair treatment for EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the EU. Parliament as a whole will have the final say on the outcome of negotiations when it votes to approve or reject the withdrawal deal, to be finalised in the autumn.