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Glenrothes MSP offers support to EU citizens following EU Settlement Scheme deadline
Clear message for EU Citizens in Mid Fife and Glenrothes: Scotland is your home, you’re welcome here and we want you to stay
Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, Jenny Gilruth, has offered support to EU citizens in Mid Fife an Glenrothes with late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.
The deadline for applications to the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) was Wednesday 30 June.
The Home Office reported exceptionally high volumes of applications to the Scheme on Wednesday evening, with applications waiting in a queue for over 40 minutes to access a 25-minute slot to apply – a situation Ms Gilruth described as a “nonsense”.
The Scottish Government has provided over £1 million of support to community organisations to help EU citizens to apply to the EUSS, and confirmed that partners will be supported until 30 September to help people make late applications to the scheme.
Earlier in the week, Ms Gilruth praised Fife Migrants Forum’s support for EU citizens applying under the EU Settlement Scheme.
Ms Gilruth met with EU citizens helped by the charity on a visit in her role as Scottish Government Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development on Tuesday [29 June].
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had said that the UK Government was jeopardising EU citizens’ right to stay in Scotland by failing to extend the deadline for applying to the EUSS. The UK Government ignored repeated calls from the Scottish Government to extend the deadline to give those who have not yet applied more time.
A backlog of more than 400,000 applications by EU citizens who wish to stay in the UK is also still waiting to be addressed by the Home Office.
Speaking after the EUSS deadline passed, Jenny Gilruth MSP said:
“I am deeply concerned that thousands of EU citizens in Scotland, including many here in Mid Fife and Glenrothes, are left in limbo, not knowing whether they can stay here because of the UK Government’s actions.
“These are people who have chosen to make Fife and Scotland their home and who continue to contribute so much to our society. That’s why I’m offering my support to any constituent who is an EU citizen and has yet to apply to the scheme. You can contact me by email to Jenny.Gilruth.email@example.com or call my constituency on 01592 764815.
“I’m pleased that the Scottish Government will continue to support partner organisations to help people make late applications to the scheme. The work of partners such as the Fife Migrants Forum has been vital in ensuring as many people as possible can be supported to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
“Despite the people of Scotland voting overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, we find ourselves dealing with the consequences of a hard Tory Brexit in the midst of a global pandemic.
“I know this has been a particularly difficult time for EU Citizens who have made Scotland their home but who have been forced to apply to stay here by the UK Government. It is an absolute nonsense that the UK Government ignored Scottish Government calls to extend the scheme or scrap it altogether.
“To all EU citizens contributing to life in Fife and across Scotland, my message is clear: Scotland is your home, you’re welcome here and we want you to stay.”
Fife Migrants Forum Manager, Billy Lynch, said:
"We at Fife Migrants Forum really appreciate Jenny Gilruth MSP’s support for our work with migrants, particularly those facing the uncertainty of knowing their status post deadline for EUSS application. We know there are just so many people yet who for any number of reasons including just not knowing and lack of confidence haven’t managed to apply yet. Jenny acknowledged the complexity of cases we encounter, and the anxiety felt by those who don’t know what their rights are now.
“We are entering a ‘twilight zone’ and we fear that the human rights of people who have contributed enormously to our economy and communities over the past 20 years could be in jeopardy; the normal rights to work, housing, benefits and education that we all take for granted.”
- The Scottish Government has created a toolkit to support EU citizens who wish to stay in Scotland: www.gov.scot/stayinscotland
- Citizens Advice Scotland operate a free national helpline as part of the Advice and Support Service for EU Citizens on 0800 916 9847.
- Fife Migrants Forum can be contacted on 01592 642927.
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