Abbott: Windrush scandal will make EU nationals frightened
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In total, around 79 thousand EU nationals left the UK from September 2019 to September 2020. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest thousands of EU nationals left the UK during the pandemic.
This has resulted in a UK labour shortage, with restaurants and cafes facing a reduction in workers.
In 2015, the UK had similar levels of EU nationals in the UK when 3.1 million were living in the UK.
This figure peaked in 2017 at 3.7 million.
Latest official estimates show nearly 5 million people have been allowed to continue working and living in the UK under the EU Settlement scheme.
The EU Settlement scheme allows EU citizens and families to remain in the UK after the country left the EU.
According to the Home Office figures, more than 58,000 applications have been made to the EU settlement scheme a month after the deadline passed in June.
In total, more than six million applications were submitted from March 2019 to June 30 this year.
European workers who apply for the settlement scheme can receive access to various UK state benefits, pensions and NHS services.
HMRC encouraged people to apply past the deadline: “If any of your employees have not yet applied, you may wish to encourage them to apply for valid immigration status as soon as possible.
“Late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme may be accepted where there are reasonable grounds. Eligible employees should apply online.”
The Conservative Party stood on a manifesto commitment in 2019 to introduce an Australian-style points-based system to control immigration.
The UK government pledged to replace free movement with the UK’s points-based system to cater for most highly skilled workers and students.
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Since the beginning of 2021, EU citizens not living in the UK have been treated the same as people from the rest of the world.
This means anyone wanting to live and work in the UK needs to apply through the points-based system.
When the UK was part of the EU, anyone from any EU country had an automatic right to work in the United Kingdom.
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