EU migrants are not being kicked out

Figures from the government’s settlement scheme puncture the scaremongering.


Topics Brexit Politics UK

Since the Brexit vote, there has been a great deal of concern over what will happen to EU migrants. In March 2019, the government launched the EU Settlement Scheme, which allows EU citizens to apply to preserve their immigration status. This should have resolved the issue, and reports this week suggest it, largely, has.

The Guardian reports that 2.7million people have used the scheme, of whom 2.5million people have already been granted ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status – that is, they have either been granted indefinite leave to remain (settled status) or can stay for at least another five years while they apply for settled status (pre-settled). Around 300,000 applicants are still waiting for a conclusion from the Home Office.

Most striking, just six of the 2.7million applicants were refused any right to stay, and they are believed to be serious criminals. And while it’s estimated that up to 900,000 EU citizens could be yet to sign up (nobody knows exactly how many EU citizens there are in the UK), the government has confirmed that those who miss the deadline will not be punished or deported.

Such a small number of rejections doesn’t quite fit the narrative of Brexit being an excuse to kick out the foreigners. Many Remainer commentators predicted mass deportations post-Brexit. In May 2016, in the run-up to the referendum, a Home Office minister even suggested every EU citizen could be deported. As the years have worn on many have feared a repeat of the Windrush scandal on an even larger scale.

A Guardian writer said today that ‘the risk of being kicked out still haunts those [EU migrants] without a British passport’ – the day after the same paper reported the settled-status figures.

This is not to say that there are no issues with the government’s scheme – the application process is overly onerous and the Home Office does not have a good record for competence. But the worst fears have been totally unfounded – fantastical, in fact. They were based entirely on the myth that the Brexit campaign and Brexit voters were driven by racism and a desire to kick out migrants.

The Remainers who have peddled this myth have caused needless harm and worry to the very EU migrants they claim to be standing up for.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


michael savell

19th January 2020 at 5:25 pm

Hi Jim,You appear mostly correct in what you say about the standard of living in most Eu countries
but it is not always the country itself which is to blame.The EU itself is a failure and the UK was correct to keep the pound,time alone will tell us of any consequences.France has a little Napoleon,is a socialist country with family bent policies like working hours and,like the UK is a contributor to the Union.Macron thinks he can become a world power on his own with the aid of the german army and who knows where the money is going.?—not on flowers apparently.
good luck

Jim Lawrie

18th January 2020 at 12:41 pm

Many of the non-applicants will be criminals, some of whom have stolen from the British taxpayer via fraudulent benefits claims and tax evasion. They know that an application will be the undoing of them.


18th January 2020 at 3:53 pm

Blah blah blah. Don’t ever go abroad, Jim. It would all just be too much for you… Luckily, after Brexit it will be much harder for you to go abroad!

Jim Lawrie

18th January 2020 at 6:44 pm

I have lived and worked in 9 countries and speak 4 languages.

Yours prejudice that abroad is better than here is common among lefties who have never worked overseas. Loads of Brits in Europe would come home in a heartbeat if they could.
I know a few in Greece approaching retirement age with poverty their only prospect.
Some I know in France face an ever dwindling standard of living, and property values that mean they cannot sell up and come to where the work is in The UK.

Jerry Owen

18th January 2020 at 11:59 pm

Your bigotry is a joy to behold!

Ven Oods

19th January 2020 at 9:10 am

‘Abroad’ means only the EU? Who knew?

Andrew Mawdsley

19th January 2020 at 5:59 pm

Couldn’t agree more Jim. ZP is a strikingly racist and bitter individual. Maybe they didn’t get much love as a child. Either that or they’re just particularly unsympathetic to a well stated argument. Please note the use of the pronoun “they”. I’d hate to upset their woke self even more. They may have a coronary.

michael savell

18th January 2020 at 12:28 am

Jan Mozelewski, I understood that there would be little change in France to your continued residence.They should have invited you to take french citizenship with the nuisance of having to take a minor language test which you could fail and retake at your leisure.You could still be dual nationality.I think,if you have a partner who speaks french to the small level required you would also be safe.You really should pop down to your local Mairie and sort it out,there is no excuse for not doing so.I came back to the UK last year because my wife could not manage to walk anymore
or get about at all,both of us in our 80’s,there was no choice,we needed our kid’s help by way of transport even to go to a supermarket.We had been in France nearly 10 years.Some miseries in the UK hate people who leave it and come back,it’s almost like a rejection syndrome but it’s the same wanderlust that we all get when going on an overseas holiday for the sun.

James Williams

17th January 2020 at 11:57 pm

It is the fact we do not know how many EU Nationals are living here at the moment that I find striking. EU migrants have for the most part worked hard, boosted the local and national economy and enjoy living in the UK. The numbers are not exceptional but extra spending on public services and infrastructure should surely have gone hand in hand especially in the areas where most migrants settle. I believe the Germans keep detailed records of all migrants and refugees and therefore plan accordingly, even going as far as to suggest or relocate migrants in areas that need certain skills or investment. I hope that this current process is the start of a smarter approach to immigration.


17th January 2020 at 10:00 pm

Boris Johnson personally promised that “There will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK. EU citizens will automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and will be treated no less favourably than they are at present.”
Having to act on a message spaffed up a wall and apply for the status is hardly “automatic”. And while at present they are not subject to immigration control, after mid 2021 they will have to navigate the Hostile Environment, the system of citizen-on-citizen checks that treats everyone who is not white British as an illegal immigrant unless they can prove otherwise. What’s more, they will be disadvantaged relative to other classes of immigrant in the UK. Other immigrants have a hard copy document they can show to employers, landlords etc while EU citizens have to rely exclusively on an online system. Some employer/landlords turn away everyone who appears to be foreign, others will specifically turn away Europeans because they do not want to have to get to grips with yet another unfamiliar and possibly unreliable online system.

Jim Lawrie

18th January 2020 at 10:18 am

What is the “Hostile Environment”? Sounds very ominous. All proper and capitalised.

I suggest you read the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

EU citizens will live under the law of the land. Our law. What many seek with the support of Brussels is the special status of resort to foreign courts for them and them only. Others want to set up their own sharia courts in this country.

As for automatically, where did you read that?
Boris Johnson in the Commons;
” … repeat unequivocally our guarantee to the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us
I thank them for their contribution to our society and for their patience, and I can assure them that, under this Government, they will have the absolute certainty for the right to live and remain.”

That requires filling out an application form. As do we all from time to time in our dealings with authority.

It seems you have read an opinion piece and taken it as fact. That is to say, let someone else do your thinking.
Tut, tut.


23rd January 2020 at 9:51 pm

The “Hostile Environment” was originated by Theresa May during her long tenure as Home Secretary. It is the system instituted under the 2012 and 2014 Immigration Acts whereby employers, landlords, teachers, bank managers, health care professionals etc have to act as unpaid, untrained immigration officers. All these people face heavy fines and/or jail sentences if they employ, house, treat or otherwise serve an illegal immigrant, but have a legal defence if they have carried out certain checks, defined by the Home Office, on the papers of the person who is subsequently found to be here illegally. It is discriminatory in the first instance because the checks are discretionary, so some people will simply turn away everyone who appears to be foreign because they are too scared or can’t be bothered to engage with the immigration control system. Other countries get round this issue by having universal compulsory identity checks.
It is discriminatory because it requires people to have documents that not everyone has e.g. a black British citizen who is too poor to afford foreign holidays may not have a passport. Other countries get round this by having national identity cards, or residence cards for foreigners who are legally present. I know this because I did live in another EU member state for 8 years.


23rd January 2020 at 10:08 pm

Theresa May’s stated intention with the Hostile Environment was that illegal immigrants would find life in the UK impossible and go home of their own accord. Her unstated intention was that some people who were here legally, including but not limited to the Windrush victims, would also find their lives more difficult and go away. Everyone who did so was just another statistic, another step on the way towards the “net tens of thousands” migration target. It simply didn’t matter whether the person was guilty of illegal immigration or not, getting rid of them contributed towards government policy.
And so it is with EU citizens. They’re not being “kicked out” in the sense of being forcibly rounded up and put on flights home because it’s not necessary to go to that expense. The Settled Status web site can simply be made to go off line from time to time, until enough EU citizens decide they’ve had enough of being unemployed or homeless and go back to countries which, on the whole, are not bad places to have to go back to.

jan mozelewski

19th January 2020 at 11:25 am

Your comment made me smile wryly and roll my eyes. Both me and my husband have businesses registered in France and pay tax there. (Having paid tax in the UK for 40-odd years previously
Anyway, we always pay our dues wherever we are, that is the point. ) We lived here before the referendum, when the UK was still a full member of the EU. EVERYTHING was difficult for us. Qualifications we held in the UK were not recognised. Barriers constantly put up which favoured French nationals. We had no option but to have our own enterprises and employ ourselves so to speak. We have had to ‘navigate’ difficult on-line systems and unlike what is often the case in the UK, the French make no allowances whatsoever for not being a native French speaker. Unless you have navigated French bureaucracy, especially online, you have absolutely no idea how difficult it can be. Anything…and I do mean anything…the British Gov put in place for EU citizens in the UK will be many times more user-friendly than they have over here for us. But of course you do not give a rats a*se about actual UK citizens do you? This obsession with the welfare of every everyone but Brits is becoming an obscenity.


17th January 2020 at 7:18 pm

We CANNOT and NEVER will leave EUROPE.
We are LEAVING an organisation called the EU.


18th January 2020 at 3:56 pm

You’ve clearly taken leave of your senses! Brexit is imaginary liberation from imaginary oppression driven by geriatric nationalists, British Empire fantasists, economic illiterates and ignorant racists. A triumph of irrationality over sound economics.

Jerry Owen

19th January 2020 at 12:05 am

Ho ho ho ZP and you Brexit phobia… So funny because you lost and you will never win.
It’s over… But please continue to whinge , I take great pleasure from it !

jan mozelewski

17th January 2020 at 7:12 pm

As a UK citizen living in France (not a pensioner but working) who came to live in France before the referendum (we bought our home here before it as well) …we are still none the wiser as to our situation.
It seems remainer outlets like The Guardian are only too concerned about EU citizens in the UK, but…as it doesn’t really suit their agenda….are not in the least bit interested in the situation of Brits in the EU who quite legitimately had free movement the other way. In fact the comments I have read online show that the Remainer/remoaner set are callous in the extreme and seem to take delight in the difficulty we face. Just so they can gloatingly say its all our fault.

Brandy Cluster

17th January 2020 at 9:10 pm

“The Guardian” is a glass half empty news site. Often it’s also the glass empty in toto. I never saw a more angry, furious lynch mob that the people who contribute comments to that dreadful rage. And worst of all; it poses as bourgeois with its cultural narcissism over The Arts.

Brandy Cluster

17th January 2020 at 9:10 pm

My spelling and typos!! Forgive me please. More haste, less speed.

Snake Oil Pussy

17th January 2020 at 9:40 pm

Why are you so concerned about The Guardian? Its circulation is down to a paltry 130,496. Spiked must get way more daily page views than that.

Ven Oods

19th January 2020 at 9:17 am

The Graun does have a well-designed website, though; it’s just a shame about the content…

Jim Lawrie

18th January 2020 at 10:03 am

Your status in France is a matter for Paris and Brussels.

France is not a signatory to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which would protect you in any other country once the UK has withdrawn from the EU Treaties.

The rights of EU citizens already here are protected under the Vienna convention and always were. Ultimately, any Treaty is a convention that can be revoked by any signatory. At least until The EU is tooled up with its own army. Brussels must be delighted by Donald Trump “making” them stump up for one.

My information is that the French authorities are going after UK nationals for Tax as assessed by them.

jan mozelewski

18th January 2020 at 8:34 pm

We are Tax resident in France.

Tim Wheeler

17th January 2020 at 5:28 pm

Sadly – I came to the conclusion that after a lifetime of loyalty to BBC News and Current Affairs coverage – I no longer believe them implicitly like I used to.


17th January 2020 at 11:11 pm

You were very foolish to have believed them implicitly before. The BBC has always been a mouthpiece of the state.

Ven Oods

19th January 2020 at 9:23 am

It just goes to show how impressions can differ. Many years ago, the Beeb might have been a state-groveller (think Mr Cholmondley-Warner) , then it got above itself and went AWOL, only to be brought back to heel after the Dodgy-dossier/Gilligan affair. Recently, it’s dithered between rampant leftiness and kowtowing to govt pressure, whenever the licence fee or its ridiculous wage bill have been under scrutiny.
Time it earned its own living from those who *choose* to watch its output, I think.

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