Bristol could face Windrush-style scandal after Johnson votes against protecting rights of EU citizens

MPs have voted on the Liberal Democrats' amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit.

The amendment (New Clause 34) would have given EU citizens the right to appeal if the Home Office refused them Settled Status under the Conservative Government’s scheme, but was blocked by Conservative MPs by 343 votes to 251 votes.

Liberal Democrat MPs also tabled amendments that would:

Remove the Conservative Government’s arbitrary December 2020 deadline for Settled Status applications (Amendment 27).
Require the Government to provide EU citizens with physical proof of their Settled Status, rather than just a digital code (New Clause 33).
However, there was no opportunity for MPs to vote on these amendments.
Following the vote, James Cox, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Bristol West, said:

"Tonight's vote is a kick in the teeth for the thousands of EU citizens who live in Bristol who are worried about their ability to continue to live, work and study in our city post-Brexit. 

"I fear this is a sign of things to come. Boris Johnson and the Conservative government have once again turned their back on EU citizens in Bristol, proving that they are happy to provide lip service but not prepared to make legal guarantees. 

“Johnson is leading us towards an even bigger Windrush-style scandal. Many EU citizens living, working and studying in Bristol will be left effectively undocumented from next year, at risk of detention and deportation.
“EU citizens make an enormous and valuable contribution to Bristol and they deserve a government who will protect them. Liberal Democrats will fight to ensure that every EU citizen has their rights protected. If you call Bristol home then you should have the right to stay."

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