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View from the House: We should make EU citizens feel welcome not concerned about 'shameful' Tory policy

PUBLISHED: 08:30 02 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:41 04 February 2019

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The government was recently forced into a U-turn when they announced they will drop the £65 application charge for the EU Settlement Scheme.

It is shameful that this Tory government needs to be forced into treating people humanely.

EU citizens and their families who wish to stay in the UK after 2020 must apply through the scheme. It is causing anxiety for EU citizens; I recently visited a local school and was heartbroken seeing children worried about their future in this country. The mental health of our young people should be paramount.

And the App for applications has problems – those without androids and those outside the UK have struggled to use it.

I am also concerned that the elderly, vulnerable people in society and children of EU citizens could struggle to apply, or be unaware of the need to.

I’m especially concerned as this is the same government that gave us the Windrush scandal and hostile environment, where people with the right to live here were wrongly told to leave the country.

The scheme has also sent the wrong message at a time when EU citizens are feeling so much uncertainty.

We should make EU citizens feel as welcome and reassured as possible, not put them through such a stressful process.

That’s why my party, the Labour Party, has promised to immediately guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain.

I encourage all those who may be affected by the scheme to look into it carefully.

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