Specialist Lawyer Say Warnings Are Legitimate And Should Not Be Ignored
An EU citizens' campaign group is calling on the UK Government to change its mind about its Brexit settlement scheme's lack of a physical ID card.
Under the scheme, EU nationals wanting to stay in Britain after 31st December 2020 will have to rely on an online system to prove their identity.
The "Access Denied" campaign, launched by EU citizens' campaign group the3million, says that if the system were ever to go down or suffer from technical glitches, individuals would be unable to do simple tasks including open a bank account, take a job, or return home after a holiday.
They are calling for the government to give EU citizens physical documentation to avoid problems.
According to the group, provisions could be made for the modified system in the forthcoming immigration bill set to go through parliament later this year.
Maike Bohn of the campaign group the3milllion, said a large group of UK residents were "about to become the guinea pigs in a digital-only experiment".
"A lot can go wrong for them: from system outages, lack of digital literacy, and broadband to others’ willingness to engage with this digital check. The new system has many moving parts, if any one of them fails, the whole fails," she said.
"Few of us have experienced the anxiety of not having access to something that proves our fundamental right to have healthcare, work or rent a flat. Millions of people could be in this situation from 2021 if the government doesn’t change course."
Expert Opinion“The Government’s decision not to provide physical proof of settled status is a legitimate concern. Warnings from organisations like the3million, but also the Residential Landlord Association that there will be increased discrimination with a digital-only status, should not be ignored. Physical proof of status will reduce discrimination in right to work and rent checks and will assist with restoring trust in the system.” Sybille Steiner - Partner