Dawn is raising awareness of the EU Settlement Scheme following concerns being raised about the scheme.
Ms Butler recently visited Convent of Jesus and Mary High School in her constituency, where a number of students raised their concerns and fears about the scheme.
EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their family members will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020. The EU Settlement Scheme will allow them to continue to live, study and work in the UK.
However the scheme has encountered problems. The Government recently announced that EU citizens would no longer have to pay the £65 charge to stay in Britain after fears were raised that it would become a financial barrier. In addition, the app used for applications was unavailable to those out of the country, or those without android mobile phones.
“When I visited a local school and discussed the EU Settlement Scheme, I was heartbroken to see so many children worried about their future in this country. The mental health of our young people should be paramount.
The treatment of EU citizens is shameful, this Tory Government was forced into dropping the £65 charge for applications but they shouldn’t have to be forced into treating people humanely.
This is the same Government that gave us the Windrush scandal and hostile environment, where people with the right to live here were wrongly told to leave the country.
We should be making EU citizens feel as welcome and reassured as possible, not put them through such a stressful process. That’s why I’m pleased my party, the Labour Party, has promised to immediately guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain.”
Ms Butler is now encouraging all EU citizens who may be affected by the scheme to look into it closely to avoid any problems. Ms Butler is particularly encouraging people to reach out to friends and family members who may be vulnerable or unaware of their need to apply, such as women, the elderly and children of EU citizens.
This comes after a report which suggests that female EU migrants are at greater risk of failing to access their settled status than male EU migrants. According to analysis by the Transition Advice Fund, which looked at the existing Migration Observatory research, females are more likely to face difficulties accessing documentation to prove their right to remain. This includes an estimated 53,000 female EU migrants who are victims of domestic abuse.
Ms Butler has since tabled Parliamentary Questions to the Government about the scheme, including to ask the Government how they were planning to cope with the large demand of people applying for the scheme through the Government app.
Ms Butler has also questioned the Government on the measures they are taking to assist vulnerable people.