The Brexit rule that states that EU citizens must re-apply for settled status to stay in the UK, has been declared unlawful.

EU citizens currently living and working in the UK under the pre-settled status will have to apply for full settled status after 5 years. The pre-settled status is limited in time and failure to apply for the settled status may put millions of EU citizens, currently residing in the UK, under the pre-settled status at risk of being able to work and reside in the UK legally.

The post-Brexit watchdog for EU citizens’ rights, the Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA), challenged this rule at the High Court saying that the ministers were breaking the undertaking given to the European Union and potentially creating serious uncertainty on the status of stay of millions of EU nationals. Furthermore, this uncertainty was never intended in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

The High Court Rules that the scheme did indeed create a level of uncertainty and Mr Justice Lane stated that; ‘a person who knowingly remains beyond the time limited by the leave could commit a criminal offence.’

It is in Mr Justice Lane’s judgment, a situation where the ‘consequences cannot be brushed aside as merely procedural matters.’ This may put at risks the weak, elderly ones who may become overstayers.

Following the judgement, the junior Home Office minister Lord Murray indicated that the Government planned to appeal.

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