Health Insurance & Windrush
EU Right to Stay Bill
Becoming a UK citizen has now become a goal for the many EU nationals living in the UK, as it is clear that they cannot trust the word of the Vote Leave government to protect their position here. Settled Status appearing to be an insecure status at best, keeping EU nationals in limbo. It is a costly and involved process for anyone, EU national or elsewhere to become a citizen, but the Home Office seems determined to make that process harder with recent changes to eligibility.
Obtaining citizenship requires proving many things to the Home Office, requiring the creation and maintenance of large bundles of documents that may need to be supplied, to prove income, education, residency in the UK among other things. It is a hard task if one knows they need to do it well in advance and it is an even harder task if, as with EU nationals, they did not need to keep these documents until very recently.
The Home Office has now decided that EU nationals need to provide evidence of Comprehensive Sickness Insurance in certain circumstances.
As this was not necessary for almost anyone, very few people will be able to prove they had this insurance. Which is known to the Home Office and ministers. This is a cruel and punitive policy that has no basis in necessity and one that seems designed to make people feel unwelcome. The Liberal Democrats oppose this new requirement and will fight to remove punitive measures for people who want to become UK citizens. We also support the3Million's #ByeByeCSI campaign.
Whilst the Home Office and the Government muck around with the lives of EU Nationals in 2020, the BBC’s new TV drama Sitting In Limbo - about one London man’s life being turned upside down by the Hostile Environment: Windrush - reminds us all that this is not the first time in recent years the government has let down migrants. Migrants that are vital to our society and economy.
The Windrush Scandal shows that this government is serious about making the lives of people who have chosen, quite lawfully, to take up the invitation of previous British governments to make their lives in Britain. Here in Lambeth we are ground zero for the Windrush, with many of our citizens, now in their retirement, being affected by the deliberate policy of successive governments to put their status at question, with the Hostile Environment. Make no mistake, this policy has been in place for some time, since the last Labour government, through the Coalition and the current Conservative governments. Blame can be spread around. But people are still having their lives turned upside down by this cruel policy everyday. Instead of learning lessons, our government seems to want to add millions to their number.
Paulette Wilson, one of the first Windrush campaigners recently passed away, in July. Paulette became a campaigner after the Home Office sought to deport her to Jamaica, a country she had left at ten years of age. It is a scandal that she was not able to see a final resolution before she passed after all the hard
The Lambeth Liberal Democrats want to create a fair and open Lambeth, starting with an end to the “right to rent” checks imposed on landlords to check immigration status of renters and an end to automatic deportations.