15,780 EU nationals in Bristol left in limbo, Lib Dems warn

The Liberal Democrats are calling for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, as new official figures show 15,780 EU nationals living in Bristol have not been granted permanent Settled Status to remain in the UK.

Pointing to the contribution of EU nationals working in the NHS during the Covid-19 crisis, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine urged the Government to “show its own support for the people’s heroes by extending the right to remain to all EU and foreign nationals, many of whom are fighting for our lives."

Of the 32,530 EU nationals across Bristol who have applied for permanent residency, only 16,430 have been granted settled status.

2,690 EU nationals living in Bristol have applied to the Home Office scheme but are still waiting for a final decision to be made. Another 13,090 have been given only temporary Pre-Settled Status, meaning they will have to reapply within five years or be forced to leave the UK.

Although the Home Office has announced a one-year visa extensions for certain health and care staff, the Liberal Democrats have secured cross-party support for their campaign to give all health and social care workers on the frontline of this crisis indefinite leave to remain.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

“The coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented threat. NHS staff, social care workers and other health professionals are putting themselves in harm’s way each and every day to keep us safe.
“The Government has a chance to show its own support for the people’s heroes by extending the right to remain to all EU and foreign nationals, many of whom are fighting for our lives during the Covid-19 pandemic."

Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate for Bristol, Mary Page added:

“Bristol is a dynamic, internationalist, modern city which so many people have made their home and added positive value to our cultural mix.  Too many EU nationals in Bristol are deeply anxious about their right to stay, like them I wasn't born here but equally like them I've made this wonderful city my home. With the uncertainty of both Covid 19 pandemic and Brexit, it is disgraceful to leave them in legal limbo like this.

“We are a city of sanctuary and have opened our heart and arms to welcome all, which we can see that with acts of Covid kindness to support everyone regardless of their status. Families and children must not be made to live under a cloud of uncertainty any longer. The Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for EU citizens by fighting to guarantee their rights to live and work in the UK and make a positive contribution to our shared society.”

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