Hampshire County Council is seeking to increase awareness about the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme, which is designed to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit.
Councillor Andrew Joy, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Communities, Partnerships and External Affairs including BREXIT said:
We know that uncertainty over Brexit is a concerning time for many people, particularly for those non-UK EU citizens and their families who have made their home here in the UK. Over the last 12 months, the County Council has sought to provide assurance to its own staff and to signpost Hampshire residents to advice about the EU Settlement Scheme.
The scheme, which involves an online registration process, has been designed specifically to enable those non-UK EU citizens, already lawfully based in the UK, to remain post-Brexit and to avoid them being adversely affected by plans for a new immigration system from 2021.
The County Council welcomes this positive approach as there are over 40,000 non-UK EU residents living in Hampshire – many of them highly valued members of our communities. Not only do they enrich our culture, but they also contribute to Hampshire’s thriving economy. It is encouraging that by the end of June this year over 9,000 EU citizens living in Hampshire had successfully registered with the scheme. Nevertheless, I think it is essential that we do everything we can to reassure those who have yet to apply that we want to enable them to stay in Hampshire. I hope that they will feel encouraged to secure their right to remain. There is considerable support available to help people through the process.
For those people who don’t have the skills or confidence to complete an online application form, the Citizens Advice Bureau is a source of advice and is working with a wide range of organisations and charities in Hampshire.