The Liberal Democrats are calling for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, as new official figures show 3,890 EU nationals living in Cornwall have not been granted permanent Settled Status.
Pointing to the contribution of EU nationals working in the NHS during the Covid-19 crisis, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine urged the Government 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."
Of just over 9,000 EU nationals across Cornwall who have applied for permanent residency, only 5,080 have been granted settled status. 760 EU nationals living in Cornwall are still waiting for a final decision to be made, while another 3,130 have been given temporary Pre-Settled Status, meaning they will have to reapply within five years or be forced to leave the UK.
The Home Office has announced a one-year visa extension for certain health and care staff, and 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.
Liberal Democrat spokesperson Ruth Gripper for Truro and Falmouth commented:
"Many of our most important sectors here in Cornwall rely on EU staff - whether that's in care, agriculture or food processing. Too many EU nationals in Cornwall are deeply anxious about their right to stay.
"With Brexit looming just over six months away, and alongside everything else that is happening right now and uncertainty about what the future holds, we shouldn't be leaving famillies in limbo like this.
"The Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for EU citizens by fighting to guarantee their rights to live and work in the UK."
Sign the Lib Dems petition to give security to every European citizen in Britain: https://www.libdems.org.uk/right-to-stay