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Brexit / High time to apply for settled status, Carmichael urges EU citizens

WITH LESS than six weeks until the deadline for citizens from European Union countries living and working in the UK to apply for settled status, Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael is urging anyone affected and who hasn’t done so yet to get the application process under way sooner rather than later.

His reminder comes at a time an increasing number of EU citizens trying to enter the UK legally report that they have denied entry with some locked up in detention centres.

Following Brexit, EU nationals can continue to travel to the UK for holidays without a visa. All they need is a valid passport. However, the right to move to and work in the UK has ended with Brexit.

Those who have moved to the UK when the country was still a member of the European Union (31 December 2020) and want to continue living and working here have until 30 June to apply for settled status.

There is currently a backlog of 320,000 applications, according to press reports.

Alistair Carmichael
Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael. Photo: Shetland News

Carmichael said: “With just six weeks left until the deadline for applications for settled status anyone who is currently in the UK under the previous EU treaty right should act now to secure their position.

“We know that applications are taking longer to process than has been promised and also that the process is not as straightforward as it was originally suggested.

“I would strongly encourage anyone intending to go down that route to do so sooner rather than later.”

The Orkney and Shetland MP said he was “horrified” to read some of the newspaper reports detailing the treatment some EU citizens had to endure when trying to enter the UK.

“Like many others I have been horrified to see reports of EU citizens being detailed on entry for reasons that are far from clear,” he said.

“It is in everyone’s interest that movement between the UK and its nearest EU neighbours should be as smooth and free from barriers as possible.

“That is what we were promised by the prime minister and others, and that is what they must now deliver.”

The settled status online application process can be found here while more information on the rights of EU citizen living in Scotland is at the Scottish Government’s website at https://www.mygov.scot/browse/brexit/eu-citizens-scotland

Help in going through the application process is available from the local Citizen Advice Bureau at sicab@shetland.org or from the EU Citizen’s Rights Project at https://citizensrightsproject.org. Anyone German needing help in the isles could also contact honorary consul Dieter Glaser on 01595 695956.