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Islington saves £80,000 after Government scraps right to remain charges for EU workers

PUBLISHED: 12:09 24 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:28 24 January 2019

A stock image of Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz. Picture: Polly Hancock

A stock image of Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Islington will pocket the £80,000 it pledged to spend on EU workers’ “settled status” fees after the Prime Minister this week backtracked and scrapped the cost to apply.

Earlier this month Islington became the “first council in the country” to commit to reimbursing the £65 fee for every council employee who successfully registered their right to remain in the UK after Brexit. It’s estimated 1,250 council employees are eligible to apply.

The Gazette understands the council’s “one-off funding” offer will be added to its back-up budget to cover “risks and unforeseen events” in the future.

Islington’s community development chief, Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, said: “Whilst we would have preferred the Government to have scrapped the settled status scheme altogether, we are pleased that our efforts in raising the negative impact the application fee could have had on staff have played a part in making the Government scrap the charge.

“However, our colleagues, friends and neighbours who are EU citizens still face many unanswered questions about their futures as the Government continues to fail to guarantee their full rights now. The Government should stop using EU citizens as bargaining chips in the Brexit negotiations.”

Theresa May told the Commons she is “waiving the application fee so there is no financial barrier for any EU nationals who want to stay” on Tuesday.

The EU Settlement scheme will open fully by March 30 and the deadline for applying is June 30, 2021.

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