Reports that the UK Home Office is considering processing applications for “settled status” by European Union citizens on an alphabetical basis has been criticised by the European Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group (BSG).
“We believe such an approach would be complicated, arbitrary and could create unnecessary confusion and uncertainty for millions of EU citizens already living in limbo. Those at the end of the alphabet may not get their status confirmed until the end of 2020 or later, which would be intolerable and contrary to the spirit of the assurances we have previously received.”
According to the MEPs, the UK’s registration scheme must be simple, fair, user-friendly, free and provide certainty for EU citizens.
The MEPs in the group have also repeatedly stressed the importance of securing equal and fair treatment for EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the EU.
The European Parliament will have the final say on the outcome of negotiations when it votes to approve or reject the withdrawal deal, to be finalised in the autumn.