One in four EU citizens applying for British citizenship have their applications rejected
One in four EU citizens currently living in the UK and applying for British citizenship had their applications turned down in the second half of last year, according to analysis of government migration figures by the Liberal Democrats and published in The Guardian.
In the last two quarters of 2016, more than 12,800 EU citizens had their permanent residency requests refused with a further 5,500 declared invalid, a rejection rate of around 28%. To qualify, EU nationals need five years of continued residence in the UK.
The day that Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50 next month is reported to be the most likely cut-off date for when EU citizens will no longer have the automatic right to stay in the UK.
Last week, the quarterly migration statistics from the Office for National Statistics showed there had been a doubling of the number of EU nationals in Britain who had their applications processed for UK residence documents to secure their individual status.
The Liberal Democrats foreign affairs spokesman, Tom Brake, was quoted in The Guardian as saying the numbers of EU citizens who were being left with no guarantees about their future was unacceptable. “Our prime minister must provide certainty now for the EU citizens who work in our hospitals, care homes, schools and factories,” he said.