Brexit leaves Lanarkshire residents in legal limbo

PEOPLE from Europe who made our communities home are living in uncertainty as they have still not been granted permanent residence in the UK.

South Lanarkshire has 2,150 citizens of other EU countries who have applied for ‘settled status’ ahead of Brexit.

In official figures released Thursday (7 November) the Home Office revealed only 1,200 people in the council area have so far been offered it.

Of the rest, 600 have been categorised ‘pre-settled’ – giving them only a temporary right to stay in the country – and 350 have still to receive a response.

Mark McGeever, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, lambasted the failure. He said: “This is a disgraceful way to treat people.

“Almost half of the applicants from our communities are being forced to live without the certainty they will be able to stay in the country they made home.

“I can only imagine how anxious some will feel. Not even the hardest of Brexiteers could think it fair.

“Many of these EU nationals do absolutely vital jobs in the NHS or in local businesses.

“It will be a huge loss to communities in places like Hamilton, Blantyre, Cambuslang and Rutherglen if Boris Johnson’s reckless right-wing government drives them away.”

“These figures are a stark warning that the Tories’ failures really could create another crisis like the Windrush scandal”, he added.

“This is yet another example of why we need to stop Brexit, stay in the European Union, protect the rights of British and EU citizens, and build a brighter future for our country.

“With every day that passes it becomes more-and-more clear that Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit will have terrible consequences, and Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to support remaining in the EU proves he cannot provide the leadership Britain needs.”