Sunday 14 February 2021

A Letter from a Curious Citizen

 Dear Ms Patel

I know you are very busy at the moment processing thousands of applications from Hong Kong people with British National (Overseas) status plus their extended families, who have been given permission from you to settle in the UK. And then there are all the failed asylum seekers to be deported. I do appreciate that you have a lot on your desk. However, I wonder whether you can help me. You see, I remember what you promised when you were part of Vote Leave. 

You said: " There will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully res
ident in the UK. These EU citizens will automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and will be treated no less favourable than they are at present. (June 1st 2016 /Vote Leave)

Now, your government's position seems to have changed. EU citizens are told to apply for pre-settled status, or for settled status. This is a complicated procedure, involving a lot of past records, documents, photocopies and certificates about employment, NHS, tax, and all sorts of things that some, particularly the very old, or the disabled or those who came here to live because they had that thing called Freedom of Movement (remember it?) just don't have. Your department says applicants must register on an Android device or an iPhone. Again, some people do not have these either. 

You have certainly managed to deviate a long way from your original pledge, haven't you, Ms Patel?

Setting all this aside (as you seem to have done with our human rights and your promises), I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. You see, I am a dual national ~ I was born here, of Jewish German parents who arrived in the 1940s as refugees. As I lost family members in the Holocaust, I have applied for, and recently been granted, 'restored' German citizenship. So now I am a citizen of here, and a citizen of there simultaneously. 

But you say that any EU citizen without pre- or settled status post 30th June 2021 may be removed from the UK. So here is my problem, Ms Patel: 50% of me (the German bit) does not currently have pre- or settled status, and will certainly not have it by the required date. I would therefore be grateful if you could inform me, as soon as possible, which part of me will be deported, so that I can make the necessary preparations and warn my family.

Yours sincerely

Carol Hedges (British/German dual national)


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