MPs should back settled status EU citizens

by Readers Question

7:34 AM, 22nd January 2020
About a month ago

MPs should back settled status EU citizens

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MPs should back settled status EU citizens

MPs should back proposals to prevent EU citizens with settled status facing severe difficulties accessing healthcare, housing, and employment a coalition of groups representing EU citizens, immigrants and landlords argue.

The House of Commons will today vote on an amendment passed in the House of Lords to the EU Withdrawal Bill that would require EU citizens to be given a physical status document to prove their right to rent property and work in the UK.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, the3million and the Residential Landlords Association are warning that unless MPs accept the amendment it creates the risk of landlords and employers being reluctant, without immediate physical proof of their status, to let a home or offer a job to EU citizens.

Under the EU Settlement Scheme the Government plans only to give EU citizens a digital code to prove their residency for landlords and employers to look up online. Previous research by Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants on the Government’s Right to Rent policy found that of 150 mystery shopping enquiries from prospective tenants who asked landlords to conduct an online status check, 85% received no response and only three responses explicitly stated that the landlord was willing to conduct an online check. Landlords were far happier to respond positively when the tenant could provide a clear physical document proving their status.

A report published by the3million this week found that 89% of EU citizens are unhappy about the lack of a physical document.

Calls for EU citizens to be given such a document have been made also by the Exiting the European Union Select Committee, the Home Affairs Select Committee and the House of Lords EU Justice sub-committee which warned to the “parallel with the lack of documents contributing to the Windrush scandal.”

In a joint statement, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, the3million and the Residential Landlords Association, said:

“MPs should back what is a pragmatic and common sense proposal. It should not be controversial that EU citizens who have played such a positive role to the life of the UK should be able to easily prove their rights with a physical document. A digital only status will massively disadvantage EU citizens against British nationals with a passport, and anyone else who can quickly and conveniently prove their status with a simple official document.”



Comments

Simon Williams

10:15 AM, 22nd January 2020
About a month ago

Why on earth they can't just have a physical document that they can print off the internet, I don't know. The landlord can then cross check the registration number on the official site, if he/she chooses to do so.

Old Mrs Landlord

11:41 AM, 22nd January 2020
About a month ago

A physical document which prospective landlords could photograph or photocopy would certainly give reassurance. The difficultiess which have arisen in connection with actioning Section 21 in terms of being able to prove exactly what documents have been given to tenants and at what time have made landlords very wary. We have seen that a disaffected tenant who has been served notice to quit will be supported by legal aid lawyers to exploit any lack of evidence that the landlord has complied with the minutest detail of legislation. It's no longer about doing the right thing but about being able to prove that you have, perhaps years down the line.

terry sullivan

13:57 PM, 22nd January 2020
About a month ago

eu has no citizens
uk should not give any advantage to those from eu until eu members offer same for uk citizens in eu member countries.

the only windrush scandal was bringing them here when uk had mass unemployment and rationing--all part of frankfurt school

Whiteskifreak Surrey

14:02 PM, 22nd January 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 22/01/2020 - 13:57
And if they do not reciprocate, where that leaves us, LLs , with thousands of EU citizens renting from us?

JJ

17:34 PM, 22nd January 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Simon Williams at 22/01/2020 - 10:15Agreed: It's easy to copy a physical document and expensive to produce one that can't easily be forged. The government cites lots of reasons for doing it in this document.
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/536918/Guidance_on_examining_identity_documents_v._June_2016.pdf
They give as reasons for doing it:
- illegal working
- immigration abuse
- financial fraud
- benefit fraud
- hiding your true identity
But if you read the same document you'll realize that you almost have to be an expert in examining documents to pick it up. So what you really need is somewhere online on gov.uk where you can check who is eligible to receive what benefit or consideration and who is not. Even if you had to register with the service to be allowed to check e.g. as an agent or landlord that would at least allow you to check and this would also leave the obligation for personal data protection compliance with gov.uk.


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