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Study Recommends EU Citizens Living in the UK be given Indefinite Leave to Remain

February 2017, 28
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Study Recommends EU Citizens
Campaigners for and against Brexit, business groups and the Trade Unions Congress (TUC), have produced a study working together. The study has pushed for EU citizens who have a proven five years of living in the UK be granted permanent residency, or a new version of indefinite leave to remain, as Brexit happens.

New visa schemes are being discussed as the UK progresses its plans to leave the EU after the recent Brexit vote. Concerns have been raised about the status of the estimated 2.8 million EU citizens living and working in the UK currently. Membership of the European Union has meant that EU citizens were free to live and work within the EU.  Groups are optimistic and no plans have been made which would detriment the future of these citizens to date. It’s likely that most would be granted residency however at current work rates processing these applications has been calculated to take decades if not longer. The recent study has called for the process to be streamlined to account for this.

The UK visa system for non-EU residents is currently strict under the Tier 2 Visa and Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence. After the UK leaves the EU it is expected that new EU citizens wanting to live and work in the UK will also find it more difficult to do so.

The recent study was organized by the British Future thinktank who are an independent, not party political group. Panelists involved with the report included MP’s from the Labour, Conservative and UKIP political parties, the TUC and the Institute of Directors. British Future aim to open up debates in the public arena on matters of identity and integration, migration and opportunity.

Group Chair and Labour MP Gisela Stuart recommended the rights and status of the 2.8 million EU citizens be a priority during the Brexit negotiations with the EU and its member states. A blanket grant of leave to remain would be the preferred outcome for those EU citizens living in the UK on the day Article 50 is actioned. Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon once it is triggered will be the formal notification of the UK to withdraw from the EU at which point complex negotiations will begin. Other panelists of the study expressed concerns about the effects of the current uncertainty of outcome for the citizens on workers, families, and employers.

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