Ministers will not challenge judgment that EU citizens’ rights scheme is unlawful | Politics News
The government will not appeal a court ruling that said its EU Settlement Scheme is unlawful, the Home Office has confirmed.
The scheme was brought in by the government in March 2019 and would have seen more than 2.5 million EU citizens face automatically losing their right to live in the UK if they did not make another application for settled or pre-settled status within five years.
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The plan was challenged in the courts by the Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) – the watchdog set up by the government to look after EU citizens’ rights in the UK post-Brexit – which argued it breached the withdrawal agreement made between the UK and the EU.
And in December, the High Court ruled the EUSS was unlawful, saying the scheme had been based on an incorrect interpretation of that agreement.
The Home Office had said it intended to appeal against the decision, but in a statement today said: “After careful consideration, we have informed the court that we do not wish to pursue the appeal against the recent judgment relating to the EU Settlement Scheme.
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“We are working to implement the judgment as swiftly as possible and will provide an update in due course.”
A spokesperson added: “Those with pre-settled status are encouraged to apply for settled status as soon as they are eligible, so they can obtain secure evidence of their right of permanent residence in the UK.”
Campaign group the3million welcomed the decision by the Home Office and said the High Court ruling had “averted a ticking time bomb”.
The grassroots organisation representing EU citizens in the UK added: “EU citizens navigating the complexities of securing settled status have been dealing with uncertainty long enough.
“It is now vital that the secretary of state urgently develops plans to secure the residency rights of EU citizens and we stand ready and willing to work with them to achieve this.”