Fee waived for EU nationals – but that doesn’t make the process right

The 3 million EU nationals in this country may no longer have to pay a fee for settled status but that doesn’t mean that we can have any confidence in the process. It doesn’t mean that we should be any less angry that our friends and neighbours and family and partners are being put through this. They were citizens, free to enjoy pretty much the same rights as us. Overnight they become people who are subject to immigration control.

If we could trust the Home Office to make humane, reasonable, rational decisions about people’s lives, it would still be insulting to these people that we are putting them through it, but we could at least have reason to believe that they would be treated fairly.

The thing is, the Home Office often makes heartless, inhumane and unreasonable decisions that defy any sort of fairness.

The most recent example is that of an elderly Iranian couple who have owned a house in Edinburgh for four decades and who are an integral part of the support system for their grandson with autism. There is, by the way, a petition to the Home Office which I would urge you to sign. Adverse publicity can sometimes help, so do what you can to spread the word. 

We all heard of the ex Mayor of Ipswich, who moved here from Denmark in the 70s, who was denied permanent residence. That decision was eventually changed, but not without huge amounts of stress to the people involved.

These two examples are the tip of a shameful iceberg and I feel ashamed that we are putting millions of people through it.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • John Marriott 22nd Jan '19 - 11:35am

    Sorry; but I see no problem whatsoever in a citizen of another country registering if they wish to take up permanent residence over here. When I was a student I needed a residence permit to work in West Germany in the Summer of 1965. My wife and I needed to go through various checks, including a rigorous health examination before we were allowed to emigrate to Canada in 1970 and, when we lived in West Germany in 1973/74 not only did we need a residence permit but also needed to register our permanent address, as did all West Germany citizens, with the local authorities. In fact, unless tge system has changed, if you move addresses over there you have to ‘unregister’ (abmelden) and re register (anmelden) – forms available from many shops – with the relevant town hall. And you also need an ID card! Food for thought?

  • The Lib Dems should be campaigning for EU27 Citizens living here to retain the right they currently have to vote in local elections. John Marriott above seems unable to grasp that the settler process is retrospective – some people have already been here for over 40 years.

  • Peter Hirst 23rd Jan '19 - 2:36pm

    What about a default British citizenship once you’ve lived here for 5 years unless you don’t want it or are disqualified; this applying seems degrading?

  • Peter Martin 23rd Jan '19 - 4:37pm

    “They were citizens, free to enjoy pretty much the same rights as us. ”

    If they are citizens they enjoy EXACTLY the same rights as us. In fact, they are us!

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarOnceALibDem 23rd Apr - 9:39pm
    Her MEP mailings on at least one occasion included material written by her husband (and employee) close to the MEP selection. When he came second....
  • User Avatarfrankie 23rd Apr - 9:23pm
    Intresting https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_Wallis In 19 January 2012, two days after failing to become the Parliament president, Wallis announced her resignation, which took effect from 31 January...
  • User Avatarnvelope2003 23rd Apr - 8:46pm
    Innocent Bystander: I did not say those who voted Leave were fooled. All the information I have seen seems to indicate that they are mostly...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 23rd Apr - 8:25pm
    Katharine although your optimism is to be applauded, by all objective measures our growth has stalled and we are now in danger of sliding back...
  • User AvatarYeovil Yokel 23rd Apr - 8:25pm
    Wow, she is very impressive. William Hague is a year younger than me, and I remember his speech aged 16 to the Conservative Party Conference...
  • User AvatarNick Baird 23rd Apr - 8:13pm
    At the moment, CHUK is a blank slate appealing mainly to opportunists and those whose interest in politics runs little deeper than "Ooooh, shiny!".