Winchester’s Liberal Democrat candidate Paula Ferguson is deeply concerned the government is leaving local families in “legal limbo” after official figures reveal that hundreds of EU nationals living in the city have not been offered permanent residency.
Of the 1390 EU nationals across the Winchester District who have applied for permanent residency in the UK, 360 have only been granted temporary “pre-settled” status, and another 220 are still waiting for a final decision to be made. 140 of the applications for settled status in Winchester were for children.
Following a meeting this week with EU Nationals, Liberal Democrat candidate for Winchester and Chandlers Ford, Paula Ferguson commented:
“Behind these numbers are real people and real families whose lives are on hold. They are our friends, families and neighbours. At our meeting, they talked to me about the trauma they’ve experienced being ‘labelled’, being made to feel unwelcome, having to apply to remain in the country that’s their home.
“Many of these people have been here for decades. They work hard and play a huge part in our communities. They have brought up their children here. ‘They’ are ‘us’. This Conservative government should be ashamed of deliberately attempting to create ‘others’. We now know that any form of Brexit will be bad for the UK’s future. It will affect jobs and the economy, and it will limit our ability to tackle the Climate Emergency. But for EU nationals in the UK the cost is being paid now. They are living with the uncertainty of not knowing if they can still call the UK their home.”