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Home Secretary Sajid Javid accuses EU on plans for UK expats

Sajid Javid

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The home secretary has accused the EU of failing to match the UK’s progress on plans for expats after Brexit.

Sajid Javid, who will reveal more details on the UK scheme for EU citizens later, said more information was needed from EU member states.

He said he was “concerned” he had not seen other EU countries’ plans on how British nationals would be supported.

There are 3.8 million EU citizens in the UK, and about 900,000 UK citizens in the EU, according to ONS figures.

Mr Javid said: “Publishing details of how we will administer our settled status scheme shows we are honouring the commitments made towards EU citizens living in the UK.

“But I am concerned that I have not seen any similar plans on how EU member states are going to support British nationals in their countries.

“This is not good enough and I hope both the European Parliament and commission will exert more pressure for them to do this as soon as possible.”

A government statement said the home secretary this week met the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, who acknowledged that the member states had not done enough on the issue.

The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019.

The government is expected to present a “statement of intent” and draft immigration rules to Parliament later, and the scheme will open in a “phased way” from later this year.

The documents will state who is eligible, how people will be able to apply, and what it will cost.

What we know so far

The Home Office has already detailed some features of its planned approach.

EU citizens who have been in the country for five years by the end of 2020 will be able to apply for “settled status”, which means they can work and live in the UK.

Those who have arrived by 31 December 2020 – when the Brexit transition period is due to end – but do not have five years’ residence, will be able to apply to stay until they have reached the threshold, at which point they can seek settled status.

The government has agreed that EU citizens and their families who arrive between 30 March 2019 – after the UK leaves the EU – and 31 December 2020 will stay on the same terms, but will have to register if they choose to stay longer than three months.

UK government ministers have said there will be an online system – similar to one used to renew driving licences – that will take minutes to complete, with a fee similar to getting a passport, which costs from £75.50.

An ID document and recent photograph will have to be provided by applicants and any criminal convictions declared.

The scheme will be open until the end of June 2021.

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