690 EU citizens apply for settled status in East Dunbartonshire

A recent protest in Scotland against Brexit, with the Scotland flag and the EU stars in the background
A recent protest in Scotland against Brexit, with the Scotland flag and the EU stars in the background

Hundreds of EU citizens in East Dunbartonshire have applied to continue to live and work here after Brexit, says Home Office.

The EU Settlement Scheme allows resident EU and Swiss citizens, plus those from the European Economic Area countries to apply to continue living and working in the UK.

Official figures show that 690 applications were made in East Dunbartonshire up to the end of last year, of which 630 were finalised. Of those, 470 applicants were granted settled status, meaning they have a permanent right to remain in the UK.

A further 160 were handed pre-settled status, giving them permission to keep living in the country and the chance to reapply after five years.

Fewer than 10 applications had other outcomes, such as being refused, withdrawn or void, or invalid.​ All numbers in the data are rounded to the nearest 10.

Locally, Polish nationals made the most applications up to the end of December (120), followed by people from Italy (90) and Germany (70).

France (50) and Romania (50) were also common places of origin for applicants.

While 16% of applications were under-18s, just 4% were from people aged 65 and over.

The UK Government has hailed the process as a success so far, with three million applications in the UK.

The national figures cover up to the end of January.

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the programme as the “biggest of its kind in British history”, which would mean “EU citizens can evidence their rights for decades to come”, adding: “It’s now time for EU countries to adopt a similar scheme.”

But Maike Bohn, co-founder of the3million, said the figures do not shed light on those who don’t apply, are refused unlawfully or discouraged from applying.

She added: “Just a small percentage of individuals falling through the cracks means misery for tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of people.

“Those people will face the full force of the hostile environment and the Government have so far avoided to say how it will handle those cases.”

But EU citizens’ rights campaign group the3million says even a small percentage missing out means misery for thousands.

Maike Bohn, co-founder of the3million, said the figures do not shed light on those who don’t apply, are refused unlawfully or discouraged from applying.

The figures for the under 18s and aged 65 and over age groups stood at 14% and 2% respectively across the UK, which Ms Bohn described as “worryingly low”.