UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Friday 21 June 2024
 11.2°C   S Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Election / Lib Dem candidate speaks up for EU citizens

LIBERAL Democrat candidate for the Orkney and Shetland seat in the forthcoming general election, Alistair Carmichael, has condemned the legal limbo many EU citizens living in the Northern Isles are experiencing as a result of the Brexit process as “disgraceful”.

Lib Dem candidate for the Northern Isles Alistair Carmichael. Photo: Shetland News

Around 50 EU citizens out of over 400 who have so far applied for settled status have yet to receive a conclusive response from the Home Office while another 120 have received ‘pre-settled’ status which only grants a temporary right to remain in the UK.

As the UK may leave the EU on or before 31 January 2020, EU citizens who want to continue living in the UK have to apply for ‘settled status’ by 30 June 2021. Should the UK leave the EU without a deal the deadline for ‘settled status’ applications is 31 December 2020.

Anyone who has been living in the UK for more than five years has the right to receive ‘settled status’ while those who have been living in the UK for a shorter period can apply for ‘pre-settled status’.

The application process has left many EU citizens anxious as to their rights to continue living in the UK. Others have said they are appalled to have to register in the country they call home.

Carmichael said citizens from the EU member states were making a positive impact on life in the Northern Isles.

“They have enriched our communities and make important contributions to our economy and our culture. They are our neighbours, colleagues and our friends, as much a part of the social fabric of the isles as anyone,” he said.

“It is disgraceful that so many of the EU nationals who have chosen to build families in the Northern Isles are being left deeply anxious about their right to stay. They deserve better than this legal limbo created by the Government.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“Brexit has led to many people feeling unwelcome in the places where they have made their homes.

“That this is happening under a government that infamously created a ‘hostile environment’ for immigrants should not come as a surprise. We must push back against those who would seek to divide us based on nationalism.”

The candidate urged anyone with concerns about their settled status to get in touch with the Orkney or Shetland constituency offices. These remain open to help with urgent casework, including immigration issues, throughout the election period, he said.

The other four candidates confirmed to stand in the Northern Isles are David Barnard (independent), Coilla Drake (Labour), Jenny Fairbairn (Conservatives) and Robert Leslie (SNP).

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.