In June 2016, just before the EU referendum, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Priti Patel signed a pledge to EU citizens in the UK. It said that, if the UK decided to leave the EU, they would automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain. Here it is.
Five years later, not a single aspect of this pledge has been honoured. Nobody has been granted automatic leave to remain. Many, even of those who have been granted settled status, have had to go through pain and humiliation to get it. To be allowed to stay in their own home.
And even those with settled status have been refused any physical proof. Some fear leaving the country in case, on return, they are victims of a systems outage at passport control, with no way of showing they have a right to be entering the country.
Some fear inviting relatives to visit them, in case those relatives are subjected to the sort of hostile treatment at the border that we are already seeing - treatment that is rapidly gaining the UK a reputation as a country where foreigners aren't welcome.
It gets worse. The UK government has set an arbitrary deadline of 30 June - three weeks' time - for those EU nationals who've not yet applied to submit their applications. Yes, THREE WEEKS' time.
As things stand it is inevitable that, unless the Westminster government extends the deadline, a great number of EU nationals who have, through no fault of their own, been unable to apply for settled status, will on 1 July bcome "illegal".
This means they will automatically lose the right to live, work or rent accommodation in the UK. Many will be people who've lived here for years, working and paying taxes. Some will have British spouses. Some will be children. They are our friends and neighbours and colleagues.
Why not apply, you might ask? It's not that simple. Although there have been communications campaigns, it is clear there are many who are still unaware even of the need to apply, let alone the deadline.
In particular, there are a number of vulnerable groups who are in real danger of falling through the cracks, including:

Children in care
Adopted children
Elderly people alone or in care, some with dementia or other conditions
People with limited English or digital skills (cont.)
Long-term residents who believe that their Indefinite Leave to Remain or Permanent Residence status is sufficient;
Those married to UK nationals who assume (wrongly) that this guarantees their right to remain
Although the government has given funds to charities to help people with applications, it's those very people - the vulnerable ones - that the charities have struggled to help face to face during the pandemic. And they now face an enormous backlog. With three weeks to go.
The government has said it will show leniency to people with a valid excuse for delay. But what assurance, after Windrush, and with a dysfunctional Home Office, can that give anyone?
For that matter, the Home Office already has a backlog of 300,000 cases - not all of which will be resolved in time. People who will be left in limbo until they hear back from the Home Office, even if they are eventually granted settled status.
This is an emergency. We have seen the tragedy that has afflicted so many of the Windrush generation, and we have a collective moral duty to ensure the same doesn't happen again with EU nationals living in this country.
So what can we do? Write to our elected representatives, whatever party they are from and whatever body they sit in. Demand that they see the moral imperative. Don't let them fob you off. Hold their feet to the fire.
Tell them this is an impending catastrophe and that it will be a stain on all of us if it happens. If they are Conservative, don't let them tell you about all the people who've succesfully applied. Insist on knowing what they're doing for the people who haven't applied.
Demand an extension to the deadline. Cite Covid. Cite the Home Office backlog. Cite our international reputation. Cite old-fashioned decency and humanity.
Whether or not the deadline is extended, demand to know what your elected representative is doing, personally, to ensure all EU citizens are reached before 30 June. Don't be fobbed off by statistics and jargon.
Demand physical proof for those with settled status. Point out that if the government can provide a printable QR code for those who haven't been vaccinated, they can do it for EU nationals.
Pick three friends. The ones who like to say they're "not political". Show them this thread. Ask them to do their bit.
If you know EU nationals in need of help, refer them to @WeAreSettled @CitizensAdvice @CitAdviceScot @migranthelp @CitzRights or gov.uk/government/pub…
Above all, don't let the government gaslight you. Don't let them tell you it's OK. Don't let them tell you it's acceptable.
It isn't OK. It isn't acceptable. It shames us.

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8 Sep 20
Democracy isn’t just about casting your ballot, as many would have you believe.
Democracy is about constant debate and scrutiny; the right to oppose and to challenge.
Democracy is about having rulers who accept accountability and institutions - parliament, the courts, the media - who keep those rulers in check.
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