The impact Brexit is having on EU citizens coming to work in North East Lincolnshire

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 21 Feb 2019

The number of EU citizens coming to North East Lincolnshire to work has plummeted since Britain voted to Leave.

Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that 760 European people came from overseas and registered for National Insurance numbers in the year ending September 2018.

That’s down from 828 registrations in the year ending September 2017, and a drop of 34 per cent from 1,152 in the year ending in September 2016.

The situation in North East Lincolnshire mirrors the national picture.

Across the UK as a whole, there were 619,683 National Insurance number registrations from adults coming from Europe in the year ending to September 2018.

This is down from 738,069 registered in the year ending in September 2017, and a 25 per cent drop from 822,231 the year of the Brexit vote.

At the moment, EU citizens who want to stay in the UK after 29 March have to apply for settlement scheme(Image: PA)

Commenting on the figures, Maike Bohn, the co-founder of the 3Million, which campaigns for EU citizens in the UK, said: “These numbers confirm a trend, but one that seems to be accelerating.

“Just as UK businesses are protecting themselves from risk by reducing numbers and moving abroad, EUcitizens are making similar decisions based on risk and opportunity.

“And the risks of moving to the UK right now outweigh the opportunities.

“Potential candidates for UK vacancies are now considering their options in Germany, France, Spain and other countries, rather than jumping into an uncertain legal and economic adventure in Britain.”

At the moment, EU citizens who want to stay in the UK after 29 March have to apply for settlement scheme, because after 30 June 2021 (or 31 December 2020 in case of no deal)  they will not legally be allowed to stay in Britain without a settled status.

The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019, but a test phase is already open and people can apply using an app available on the Home Office website.

To be eligible for settled status, EU citizens need to have lived in the UK for at least six months in any 12 month period for five years in a row.

If people have not lived here for five years in a row, they may still be eligible for pre-settled status.

People can provide National Insurance number to allow an automated check of their residence based on tax and certain benefit records.

If this check is successful, nothing else needs to be done. If not, the applicant will be asked to provide more documents.

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