Hostile environment

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:45 pm ar 18 Mehefin 2020.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:45, 18 Mehefin 2020

I would like to start by reassuring Opposition Members. We are making plans for what will be a major restart of engagement and promotion of the European settlement scheme in a face-to-face way. Work is still being done online. The latest statistics have been published and we always use those as an opportunity to promote the scheme and make it clear to people what their entitlement is. We still have a good flow of applications coming in even during the lockdown, which partly reflects the fact that the vast majority of people are applying by using an app on their phones. So strong work is being done there.

On the list of reasons for late applications being accepted, as I said on Tuesday it will be a non-exhaustive list because, as the hon. Member for Halifax rightly says, we cannot predict every single circumstance that would be a reasonable reason for being late. A common reason would be a child in care where the council did not apply, but the list will be non-exhaustive because no one could write all the reasons that we as individuals might find reasonable. So far, the scheme has operated by being flexible and pragmatic in working with those applying. That is why the grants of status are in the millions and the refusals in the hundreds.

I am grateful to hon. Members for their contributions. I share their desire to ensure that EEA citizens and their family members who are currently in the UK lawfully are not denied access to work, healthcare or anything to which they are currently entitled.