This report sets out the findings and recommendations of a cross-party, independent Inquiry into how to secure the status and rights of EU nationals currently living in the UK.
The Inquiry panel included voices from Leave and Remain, different political parties and from business and trade unions and was chaired by Gisela Stuart MP, former Chair of the Vote Leave campaign. Its remit was to examine how the Government can protect the rights of the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit and to make practical recommendations as to how to do this, starting from the premise that this is the right thing to do.
British Future brought people together for this Inquiry because it was clear they would be able to find common ground, despite being on different sides in the EU referendum and on opposing benches of the House of Commons. There is wide political and public agreement that the status and rights of EU nationals who have made their homes in Britain should be sorted out as soon as possible. ICM research for British Future (1) finds that 84% of the British public supports letting EU migrants stay – including three-quarters (77%) of Leave voters – with any future changes to freedom of movement applying only to new migrants.
It recommends that EU nationals already living in the UK at the point when Article 50 is triggered should be offered Permanent Residence with the same health, social and educational rights as British citizens.
It also recommends major changes to the application process for Permanent Residence which, it says, is onerous for the applicant and risks overwhelming the Home Office; and that the costs of applying for Permanent Residence is capped so those affected can secure status with minimum of expense.