UK launches app for EU citizens to stay after Brexit

Source:AFP Published: 2019/1/21 17:58:40

The British government launched a phone app on ­Monday to allow EU nationals to apply to stay after Brexit, hoping to ease concerns among those who have made their lives in Britain.

Around 3.5 million Europeans currently living in Britain will need to apply for "settled status" to continue to work and claim benefits after Brexit.

The app launch is a test stage before the scheme becomes ­fully operational on March 30, the day after Britain is due to leave the EU. It will stay open until late 2020 or 2021. Prime Minister Theresa May has said repeatedly she wants Europeans living in Britain to stay. 

Officials have vowed to make the process as easy as possible, but there are concerns about how they will cope with what some estimates suggest could be 6,000 applications a day.

Talks continue with Apple to allow the app to function on iPhones as it currently only works on Android phones.

Last year the Home Office interior ministry came under intense criticism for threatening to deport Britons whose parents, the so-called Windrush generation, migrated from the Caribbean after World War II.

They were legally British but some people who could not produce official proof were told to leave Britain, or refused the right to return home after visiting relatives abroad.

The EU scheme "is an important test for the Home ­Office," said Jill Rutter of the British Future think tank.

Posted in: EUROPE

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