April 26, 2017
The realities of Brexit - residency rights edition
As people who are directly affected by this problem, we have taken more than a cursory interest in the issue of EU citizens rights in the post-Brexit UK. There was an important development yesterday, as reported by the FT, according to which the UK Home Office is now discouraging further residency applications because they are overwhelmed with applicants. The Home Office has issued a new guidance to encourage EU residents to sign up for email alerts instead of making a full application. The Home Office advises, correctly, that it is not mandatory for EU citizens to have a residency card as long as the UK remains in the EU. We are confident that this arrangement will be extended for a transitional period. The articles quotes a lawyer as saying that the Home Office will eventually produce a simplified application procedure, as opposed to the 85-page application form applicants currently have to fill out. There have been almost 100,000 applications last year - out of an estimated EU population of 3-5m, and the British administration is already overwhelmed. The task of processing millions of applications will ultimately require a different procedure.