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    UK Home Office to Go Through 3.6 Mln Applications From EU Citizens - Activist

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    The UK government announced they would promise to fast-track the registration process for EU citizens who want to stay in the UK after Brexit, with decisions on applications to remain in the country reduced from six months to a matter of days. Sputnik spoke to Magali Van Bulck from the the3million group* about the announcement from the Home Office.

    Sputnik: What do you make of this announcement by the home office?

    Magali Van Bulck: The Home Office announcement obviously we welcome any clarity at this stage as it’s obviously welcome because it’s been two years and we’ve been in limbo knowing nothing. These answers are only partial answers and that’s the crux of the issue thought. We still don’t have any certainty to any legal guarantees, these are only draft, a statement of intent really.

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    Sputnik: Do you think this is a good idea or are there still shortfalls in this?

    Magali Van Bulck: So there are a few things we still need, the government need to start raising awareness because I speak to people every day who have no clue what settled status means or that they need to apply for something new, they’ve been here for years they just assume everything is business as usual. So I think that’s something we ask from the government, nobody gets left behind, nobody falls through the cracks. One other thing is we want this enshrined in UK law so that there’s parliamentary scrutiny when a new government for example tries to take our rights away from us or wants to tweak those rights further down the line.

    Sputnik: Do you think the home office realise the scale of the task ahead?

    Magali Van Bulck: I think the home office is underestimating how they manage demand, that’s something that’s been left out of their statement of intent. So they seem to be thinking that all EU citizens will be applying in small waves and they’ll be able to process that in the moment. But there will be a 50% increase, the home office goes through 7 million applications a year, they’ll have to go through 3.6 million applications as soon as the scheme opens. There is a huge error rate at the moment, there’s a 10% error rate at the moment, and how will EU citizens be sure their application will be processed in good faith.

    *the3million group is the largest group of EU citizens in the UK.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

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