The Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservative Government of “callously inflicting uncertainty” on children of EU citizens, as official figures reveal that tens of thousands of them still have not been granted the permanent right to stay.
The Home Office has received 386,570 applications to the EU Settlement Scheme from under-18s, but has only granted permanent Settled Status to 199,260.
Another 116,620 children were granted pre-settled status, which only gives the temporary right to stay in the UK for up to 5 years, while 69,610 are still waiting for a final decision to be made.
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:
“The way this Conservative Government is treating EU citizens in our country is shameful. They are callously inflicting uncertainty on thousands of children – many of whom were born and brought up here.
“Boris Johnson has reneged on his promise to automatically guarantee the rights of EU citizens to stay in the UK. Thousands will inevitably end up effectively undocumented, creating another Windrush-style scandal.
“Liberal Democrats are fighting for the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU. Ministers must listen and end the cruel uncertainty for these families.”