21 May 2020 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • 24,320 EU nationals are stuck in limbo
  • Govt warned Councils are struggling to cope with homelessness
  • Decrease in business turnover demands action with extended transition period
  • PM should face London Assembly after IOPC report

24,320 EU nationals are stuck in limbo

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their calls for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, as new official figures show over 24,000 in Wales have not been given the right to remain.

Of the 57,140 EU nationals in Wales who have applied for permanent residency, only 32,370 have been granted settled status.

5,560 EU nationals in Wales have applied but are still waiting for a final decision to be made, while 18,670 have been given only temporary Pre-Settled Status – meaning they will have to reapply within five years or be forced to leave the UK.

Although the Home Office has announced a one-year visa extensions for certain health and care staff, the Liberal Democrats have secured cross-party support for their campaign to give all health and social care workers on the frontline of this crisis indefinite leave to remain.

Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds said:

These figures are frankly shocking, the fact that over 24,000 people do not have a guaranteed right to remain in the UK is shameful. With the uncertainty of Brexit and Coronavirus continuing, it’s unacceptable to leave so many families in legal limbo.

Anyone who has chosen to come and make their life here in Wales should be given the right to remain, just as we want UK citizens living abroad to be given right to remain where they are. It’s clear the current scheme is not providing that guarantee.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for EU citizens by fighting to guarantee their rights to live and work in the UK. We’re calling on the Home Office to change it’s policy and give all EU Citizens in the UK the right to remain indefiintely.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP added:

The coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented threat. NHS staff, social care workers and other health professionals are putting themselves in harm’s way each and every day to keep us safe.

The Government has a chance to show its own support for the people’s heroes by extending the right to remain to all EU and foreign nationals, many of whom are fighting for our lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Govt warned Councils are struggling to cope with homelessness

Responding to new figures on homelessness in England released by the Government today, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:

The Coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented threat. It is leaving the most vulnerable in our communities at risk and it is our duty to ensure no one is left behind.

The scale of people who find themselves homeless is heartbreaking. Ministers must wake up, realise Councils are struggling to cope and commit funding to end this national shame once and for all.

That’s why Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to protect emergency funding for local authorities to accommodate rough sleepers and extend measures to block evictions for as long as is necessary to enable people to get back on their feet.

Decrease in business turnover demands action with extended transition period

Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has today called on the Government to extend the transition period and reverse damaging immigration polices because of the impact of the coronavirus crisis on business.

The call comes in response to figures released by the ONS today which reveal 61% of businesses reported a decrease in turnover outside of normal range in England, compared with 66% in Wales, 65% in Scotland and 63% in Northern Ireland between 20 April and 3 May 2020.

Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

A quick recovery by the end of 2020 is a pipe dream. Businesses will likely continue to struggle next year as both a result of the coronavirus crisis and a possible no-deal Brexit with our closest trading partners in the EU.

The end to free movement across Europe will make it increasingly hard for business to hire the workers they need. To add insult to injury, the Government has now made attracting workers from across the world even harder with its immigration points system.

Coronavirus is the biggest danger to business since the financial crisis and the Government only seeks to compound their difficulties by cutting off access both to workers and markets across Europe.

If we are to support business all the way through to the end of this pandemic, we must extend the transition period with the EU and reverse the damaging immigration polices this Government is pursuing.

PM should face London Assembly after IOPC report

Responding to the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) decision not to pursue a criminal investigation into Boris Johnson’s conduct with Jennifer Arcuri, Siobhan Benita, Lib Dem Candidate for Mayor of London, said:

It is outrageous that a decision as important as this comes so late, effectively kicked into the long grass during the general election.

Boris Johnson may not be facing a criminal investigation but he still has many questions to answer.

The Prime Minister should face the London Assembly so that his conduct can be thoroughly examined. Avoiding scrutiny may be his trademark but it should not be tolerated.

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