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    Two activists with the EU flag and Union Jack painted on their faces kiss each other in front of Brandenburg Gate to protest against the British exit from the European Union, in Berlin, Germany, June 19, 2016.

    EU Citizens Need to Feel 'Pressure' to Register for Settled Status - Sajid Javid

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    British Home Minister Sajid Javid has rejected the criticism of the ad for the 'settled status' scheme posted by the Home Office in December 2017 and dismissed claims that the tone of the message was hostile in any way.

    Mr. Javid was questioned by members of the House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee on Tuesday, 22 January on citizens' rights post-Brexit.  

    He admitted that the Home Office and the overall the UK government cannot repeat the 'Windrush generation' mistakes — which led to the resignation of his predecessor Amber Rudd over migrant removal targets — with the EU nationals residing in Britain.

    READ MORE: Amber Rudd Resigns as UK Home Secretary Amid Migrant/Windrush Scandal

    "Whether we like it or not, when we leave the EU, whether with a  deal or no deal, at some point they would have to have proper status, so that they have no problems in the future to live, work and continue their lives here. We cannot have a situation in the future, where we aren't able to identify the cohort of 3 million plus that were here before the exit from the EU or at the end of the implementation period — if we have a deal — and new EU citizens that continue to arrive after that," Javid told the committee.

    He added that if the Home Office message to EU nationals is not clear, the government runs the risk of people feel like there is "not much pressure on them and they don't have to do this."

    To those who criticize the advertising, Javid said that the ad contained the correct and factual message and he won't allow the scheme to fail under his watch.

    Pro-remain supporters of Britain staying in the EU, wear EU flag masks as they take part in an anti-Brexit protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Lawmakers are due to vote late Monday or early Tuesday on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which aims to convert around 12,000 EU laws and regulations into domestic statute on the day the country leaves the bloc in March 2019
    © AP Photo / Matt Dunham
    Pro-remain supporters of Britain staying in the EU, wear EU flag masks as they take part in an anti-Brexit protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Lawmakers are due to vote late Monday or early Tuesday on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which aims to convert around 12,000 EU laws and regulations into domestic statute on the day the country leaves the bloc in March 2019

    The settled status scheme announced by the government allows EU citizens in Britain to apply for the permission to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.

    On Monday, the UK PM Theresa May announced that the government decided to waive the application fee (£65) so there is no financial barrier for EU nationals who wish to stay in the country.

    The House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee questioned Sajid Javid on how the government planned to advertise the scheme to EU nationals who "are not comfortable online" or don't have access to online resources, a primary way of the application process.

    Javid confirmed that the Home Office set up a user group of external stakeholders, such as charities and NGOs and dedicated 9 million pounds of funding to help more vulnerable EU citizens.

    "What type of help they get depends on what kind of support they might need. For example, there are some people who don't have a mobile can visit places across the country, especially the libraries set up with a dedicated space to go through the application process. In some cases, there will be a hotline to guide you through if you have your own device. In other cases, if an individual is not able to go somewhere, we will make sure that someone actually visits them."

    Javid remained adamant that the Home Office can't have the Windrush situation again, despite the parallels with "where we are today".

    "What that means is for the EU citizens that are here today — that we properly document their status," the Home Minister said.

    Related:

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    Conservatives Slam UK Home Office for Failing to Tackle Illegal Migration Flow
    Amber Rudd Resigns as UK Home Secretary Amid Migrant/Windrush Scandal
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    "settled status", EU nationals, Brexit, Sajid Javid, United Kingdom
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