After last week’s resounding defeat for Theresa May’s Brexit proposal, the Prime Minister returned to Parliament to announce that she has decided to waive the £65 settled status fee for EU citizens.
Mrs May told the Commons that she had listened to concerns from MPs across the house and taken them into consideration when proposing her Plan B for Brexit.
Under the planning scheme it stated that for EU nationals to secure the right to live in the UK after Brexit, adults must pay a £65 fee, with children paying half the cost (£32.50).
Theresa May said: “A number of members have made powerful representations about the anxieties facing EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU who are waiting to have their status confirmed.
“I can confirm today that when we roll out the scheme in full on 30 March, the Government will waive the application fee so that there is no financial barrier for any EU nationals who wish to stay.”
Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes, told the Commons on 20 December that in a six-week period, between 1 November and 13 December, more than 12,400 applications were processed during a pilot.
This equates to just over 2,000 per week, which would mean that processing three million EU citizens in Britain before December 2020 would be near impossible.
The Prime Minister has confirmed that anyone who has already paid the fee during the pilot phase would be reimbursed. More details on how this will work will be made available in due course.