Thanks to the Home Office’s new EU Settlement Scheme, EU citizens in Carshalton and Wallington could face a 22.8 mile round trip to register for settled status by 30 June 2021, or earlier in the case of a No-Deal.
The Liberal Democrats have described as ‘atrocious’ the Conservative Government’s treatment of EU citizens.
The Home Office has confirmed that during the trial period, which will last until 30 March, EU citizens wishing to stay in the UK must either apply and send their documents using an Android phone, or travel to one of 13 document scanning centres.
The Southwark Register Office is the closest document scanning centre available for Carshalton and Wallington residents. Therefore, EU citizens travelling from Carshalton and Wallington could spend up to £10 and over 2 hours on a trip to Southwark and back. To drive, the distance would be about a 21.4 mile round trip, costing around £3.91 in fuel.
When the scheme fully opens on 30 March, applications will be accepted on any device, however, only Android users will be able to scan their identity documents. EU citizens applying without an Android will be obliged to send their documents by post or visit the scanning centre.
Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake said:
"It is saddening to see how many residents are now concerned about their right to stay in the UK. A country they’ve paid taxes to, worked and lived in and called home for many years, in some cases decades.
"The inconvenience of this botched scheme is unacceptable. People in Carshalton and Wallington will be faced with a 22 mile round trip in order to register on time. Have the Government given any thought to how citizens are affected by this?"
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey MP said:
"Following significant pressure, the Prime Minister said there will be no financial barrier for any EU nationals who wish to stay. How long did that commitment last?
"It is Conservative Ministers who have made a mess of Brexit. They should either pay the cost for EU citizens or change the application system and ensure EU citizens are made to feel welcome in the UK.
"Ultimately, the best way to avoid all of this mess is by giving the people the option to stay in the EU with a final say on Brexit."