EU nationals' status threatened by lack of funds

The British Medical Association (BMA) has warned that significant doubts’ remain over the government’s ability to register millions of EU nationals for settled status in the UK, because of inadequate resourcing.

David Wood, the former director general of immigration enforcement, recently claimed that officials were struggling to deal with the influx of EU citizens’ wishing to apply for the right to remain in the UK post-Brexit.

Evidence suggest that, at present, the Home Office does not have the capacity to register EU nationals already in the UK. Earlier in the year, the government revealed that it would seek to introduce a settled status’ for EU citizens that had been living and working in the UK for five years prior to a still unspecified cut-off date.

The BMA said: “While we cautiously welcome the government’s commitment to introduce a ‘simple process for any EU citizen who holds permanent residence under the old scheme to swap their current status for UK settled status’, key concerns remain. These include the lack of information on the scheme, the administrative burden this will place upon those EU nationals who will be expected to undertake it, including our members, and also the capacity of the Home Office to administer a system which will require them to register the more than three million EU nationals currently in the UK.”