- REUTERS / Francois Lenoir
LONDON – Home Office officials have attempted to reassure EU citizens that they will not need ID cards or need to be fingerprinted after Brexit following leaked immigration plans which suggested that ID cards might be introduced.
The reassurance comes from pressure group “the3million”, which published the results of a meeting between the group and the Home Office. EU citizens will also not have to meet an income threshold to stay in the UK after Brexit, according to the meeting.
The Home Office agreed that the3million could release a statement following the meeting, which was published on Monday. The group aims to pressure the government into making a unilateral agreement to secure EU citizens’ rights after Brexit.
The statement said:
“The Home Office has confirmed in accordance with the Policy Paper (of 26th June 2017) and subsequent negotiations with the Commission on Citizens’ Rights its position that EU citizens: Will not have to prove CSI (comprehensive sickness insurance/private healthcare), will not have to meet an income threshold, will not have to submit fingerprints; will not be issued with an ID card.”
This will only apply to EU citizens in the UK already and not immigrants post-Brexit but is a significant concession by the government nonetheless.
The group said they will be “asking the Government to urgently issue public anti-discrimination guidelines for employers, landlords, public services and industries considering the current level of discrimination we uncovered recently.”
A report by the3million showed EU citizens living in the UK are being increasingly discriminated against when applying for jobs and housing following the vote to leave the EU.
Citizens’ rights are one the key issues that the UK and EU are tackling during the first phase of Brexit talks, although there appears to be a stalemate between the two negotiating teams on separation issues.
Nicholas Hatton, the chairman of the3million, told the Guardian that he did not know whether to trust the government because of “confusion at the top” over post-Brexit rights.
He said: “On Friday, we had Theresa May saying we would have the same rights as before, and on Sunday we have David Davis saying we won’t have reunification and we won’t have registration.”
Davis said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that EU citizens would not be allowed to bring a spouse or relative from a non-EU country to the UK after Brexit.
The leaked immigration document had suggested that during the Brexit transition period non-UK citizens would have to provide proof of citizenship with a passport “or a Home Office biometric immigration document,” which could be an ID card.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “The statement issued by the3million group today reiterates our public position on these issues.”