EU citizens will not be automatically deported if they fail to register under the governments EU settlement scheme by June 31, 2021 says Downing Street.
The assurance was given by the UK Government to the European Parliament Brexit coordinator; Guy Verhofstadt on Friday.
Verhofstadt met with British ministers on Thursday, including Brexit minister Stephen Barclay on Thursday. He was informed that there would be a grace period for those who have not registered by the June 31, 2021 deadline.
“What will happen for those people even after the grace period? Well there will be no automatic deportation,” Verhofstadt told BBC Radio.
“After the grace period they will have a possibility to apply, giving the grounds why it was not possible to do it within the normal procedures.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman confirmed there would be no automatic deportation when asked about Verhofstadt’s comments.
In November Reuters reported that “Britain was threatening to deport EU citizens if they failed to apply on time and would grant leniency only in exceptional circumstances.”
Statistic show that of the 3.5 million EU nationals living in the UK, an estimated 2.7 million have already registered under the scheme.
Responding to Verhofstadt’s comments, the Home Office issued a statement saying “The EU Settlement Scheme is providing certainty to millions of EU citizens across the country and some of the misconceptions we’ve seen about the settlement scheme have been unhelpful when our focus is on providing reassurance.”
Under the current registration scheme EU citizens are given digital status but the Home Office make it quite clear that “this can’t be used as evidence of status.”
EU citizens who are granted settled status want to be given a physical document so they can prove they have the right to remain Verhofstadt commented. He said the UK was looking into the possibility of this but a spokesperson for PM Boris Johnson said he was not aware of any planned change.