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EU citizens face 100-mile round trip to register to remain in UK post-Brexit

February 4, 2019 5:40 PM

Rebecca TrimnellEU citizens in Gloucester face a 100-mile mile round trip to register for settled status in post-Brexit Britain, according to the Liberal Democrats.

The Home Office has confirmed that for the duration of the trial period, until March 30, EU citizens applying to stay in the UK must either use an Android phone or travel to one of 13 'document scanning' centres instead.

For the 7,500 EU citizens living in Gloucester, the closest 'document scanning' centre is Bath, which leaves people facing a £15 rail fare or spending around £23 on fuel to drive.

Dr Rebecca Trimnell, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokeswoman for Gloucester, said: "The new EU settlement scheme is contemptible and stinks of xenophobia.

"It is merely a system of unnecessary control of those deemed as 'European' and not 'British'. It is a dangerous scheme that breeds hatred and strengthens far-right sentiment.

"It is a sad indictment of the direction the UK is heading that EU citizens have to apply for such a status not alone having to travel to a centre if they don't own an android phone.

"It is totally absurd that EU citizens on Gloucester have to travel a round trip of just under 100 miles to get their documents scanned in Bath.

"It must be scrapped."

The scheme is designed to ensure more than three million EU citizens who live in the UK can stay after Brexit.

EU citizens who have been in the UK for five years or more by December 31 2020 must apply for the "settled status" by June 30 2021.

Following pressure from Liberal Democrats and others, the Prime Minister informed the House of Commons last month that "there [will be] no financial barrier for any EU nationals who wish to stay."

The current document scanning centres are in Bath, Belfast, Caerphilly, Edinburgh, Hertfordshire, Hull, Lincolnshire, London (Hackney and Southwark), Sandwell, Southampton, Stockton-on-Tees, and Trafford.