Friday, 22 June 2018 05:18


The SNP’s Westminster Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson Joanna Cherry QC MP has condemned the UK government’s plans to make EU nationals pay and answer questions if they wish to live in the UK after Brexit – despite many having lived, worked and paid their way in the UK for years.

The criticism comes as the Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes announced that EU citizens already living in the UK will have to pay up to £65 and answer questions to continue living and working in the country.

The SNP Scottish Government has already said that it would pay the so-called "settled status" fee of any EU citizen working in the public sector in Scotland.

Commenting, Joanna Cherry QC MP said:

“It is outrageous that the UK government is demanding sums of money from EU nationals who have lived here for years, and whose presence makes an immensely positive contribution to the UK.

“Since the EU referendum almost two years ago, EU nationals have been left in limbo. Representatives from the 3million and the Irish in Britain have recently told of how EU citizens remain very anxious about their status and that the Windrush scandal has further dented their confidence in the Home Office.

"The Home Office and HMRC already have records of EU citizens living and paying their way in the UK. Today I called on the Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes to abandon plans to charge a fee for people already living and working here. The principle should be that no EU citizen living in the UK should suffer as a result of the Brexit outcome, which they of course had no vote in. 

“The Scottish Government has already pledged to pay the fee for people working in the Public Sector in Scotland the UK government should go further and abandon charging a fee altogether. There is no justification for forcing people already legally living and working here to pay a fee to confirm what the UK government already knows. 

“EU nationals have made an invaluable contribution to Scotland and the UK - both economically and socially – and this cynical move is yet another insight into the worrying direction the UK government is headed."

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