These families have made this country their home, yet they are forced to jump through bureaucratic hoops just to have the right to stay here, sometimes the only country they have ever known
9th February 2020
Earlier this month Boris Johnson invited a group of schoolchildren to No 10 to ask him about key issues facing the country, from the NHS to Brexit. One topic that didn’t come up – the questions were no doubt carefully vetted – was the government’s appalling treatment of some of these children’s classmates from the EU, who are being refused the right to stay permanently in the UK.
The latest figures from the Home Office shockingly reveal that 116,000 children from the EU have been refused permanent residency. That’s around one in three of all under-18s who applied. Instead, these children have only been offered the weaker pre-settled status, which only provides a precarious and temporary right to stay in the UK. This means they will have to reapply for the permanent right to remain later down the line, and they will only be granted it if they have paperwork to prove they’ve been in the UK for at least five years.
It is a mark of shame on this government that so many children from the EU and their parents are being left in legal limbo. These families have made this country their home, yet they are forced to jump through bureaucratic hoops just to have the right to stay here, sometimes the only country they have ever known.