The UK Security Minister, Brandon Lewis, announced that EU citizens who do not apply for settled status by the end of 2020 may be removed from the UK, Presstv Reported.
“If EU citizens have not registered by then without an adequate justification, the immigration rules will apply,” Lewis said.
Critics said the minister’s comments suggested that the government was planning to renege on a promise to EU citizens.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, EU citizens need to apply to the settlement scheme if they wish to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.
About one million of the estimated three million EU citizens in the UK have yet to apply for settled status, Home Office figures showed.
The3million, a group representing EU citizens living in Britain, said many EU citizens in the UK were unaware of the requirement or were simply refusing to register for settled status, as a protest against Brexit.
There is concern that there could be tens of thousands of EU nationals in the UK who will fail to apply in time, and that older and more vulnerable EU residents may not be aware of the need to secure their rights.
Moreover, the Home Office has been accused of misleading the public over how successful its EU Settlement Scheme has been.
The Government stated that only two applications to stay in the UK after Brexit have been refused and insists that the system is working well. However, new analysis suggests more than 7,600 applicants have not been granted permanent permission to live and work in the country – settled status – or temporary leave to remain – pre-settled status.
Britons now understand that the economic and political freedoms they had hoped for during the 2016 Brexit vote have morphed into a future of uncertainty under Mr. Johnson’s push for a no-deal.