The UK Government has stated that it is going to end freedom of movement between the UK and EU countries, with no legislative provision, on November 1st.
We thus need to remind all workers in the UK who are EU nationals to apply and submit for pre-settled or settled status as a matter of urgency.
Once the application is approved it guarantees the continuation of rights of workers who are EU nationals such as the right to work and access health services in the UK.
It is possible to apply until December 2020 with the application system put in place in March 2019. But if the Government manages to delete the rights of all EU workers in the UK overnight, there will be no other document that will prove your right to live and work in the UK. There will be no alternative system in place, such as a visa, maybe for several months.
The Home office sent out an email on August 15th stating that a million EU citizens had been granted settled status. So it seems likely that there are another 2 million EU citizens who have either not yet applied, nor yet had their status confirmed.
A no deal Brexit is likely to affect the most vulnerable workers in the UK, impacting on workers who have difficulties accessing internet, speaking English or access advice and support services.
The application form for settled status is online here. It is important to know that the app to verify passports works only on Android phones. If someone doesn’t have access to an Android phone, they will need to send their passport by post to the Home Office.
Workers should remind our colleagues, friends and neighbours who are EU citizens to apply for settled status if they have not yet already done so.
There are a number of organisations that are charging workers to assist with their applications. However there are also places where you can get this support free of charge and who will help you verify your passport on an Android phone so you don’t need to send it away. Here is a website for EU citizens living in the UK which should help you find support locally. And here are the organisations funded by the UK Government to provide support to vulnerable and at risk EU citizens applying to the EU Settlement Scheme
Some of the information circulating on the press at the moment is incorrect. If there are any doubts about the application you can use the Home Office sources or you can contact international [at] iww [dot] org [dot] uk