The Mayor of London has launched a new information hub to help EU Londoners secure their status in the UK after the country leaves the European Union. The portal includes guidance on how to apply for the settled status scheme, questions and answers on the possible Brexit impacts, and where to find support services in each London borough (and UK-wide).
Sadiq Khan presented the initiative at a meeting with the Ambassadors of the 27 EU member states last weeek. He asked them to help promote the information hub and reach as many European Londonders as possible.
“London is a truly global city where we see our incredible diversity as a strength, not a weakness. We are lucky that more than a million EU citizens have decided to make this their home. They are Londoners, they belong here and they will always be welcome,” he said.
“To help them navigate the uncertainty ahead we are creating an online portal where the very latest advice will be available to ensure that those who have come to our city remain able to contribute to every aspect of life here, and continue to make London a more vibrant, dynamic and prosperous city,” he added.
The information hub aims to help European Londoners and their families prepare their settled status applications, when the registration scheme will open after the testing phases. For persons in need of extra support, there are contacts of trusted organisations that can offer advice. It is also possible to register for email updates.
The portal was produced in cooperation with the3million, a group lobbying for the rights of EU nationals in the UK, and Here for Good, a non-profit organisation that offers free legal advice to Europeans in the context of Brexit.
A recent survey carried out by YouGov for the Mayor of London showed that 49% of Londoners are worried about the impact of EU nationals leaving the capital, and 69% are concerned for a possible exodus of skilled workers after Brexit.
In March 2018, there were 985,400 EU nationals over 16 years old living in London. The largest groups were the Italians (145,300) and the Polish (143,700), followed by Romanians (133,200), Portuguese (105,500), Spanish (91,000), Lithuanians (82,000) and French (76,400). In total, 26,400 were unemployed and 196,000 economically inactive (e.g. students, retired, carers), according to data provided to Europe Street by the Office for National Statistics.
“Our initial research illustrates that for every organisation providing free European immigration advice there are 35,000 EU citizens who may need support. Even if just 10% of applications for the government’s settled status scheme are complicated for some reason, we face an unprecedented need for free immigration advice for the most vulnerable people,” says Here for Good co-founder Tahmid Chowdhury.
The3million have encouraged the creation of similar support initiatives by local councils outside London.
3/ If you live outside London, we encourage you to contact the CEO of your local Council, or your elected mayor if you have one, to ask them to do the same in your local area. We have a team in place, ready to replicate the work with any local authority in the UK.
— the3million (@The3Million) November 10, 2018
In October Sadiq Khan launched an online business hub to help companies prepare for Brexit.
As part of the campaign #LondonIsOpen, a video has also been released to celebrate the diversity of the British capital and tell EU nationals that “they will always be able to call the city home”.
Claudia Delpero © all rights reserved
Photo via Pixabay.