06 December 2016
More than 3 million European Union citizens living in Britain after Brexit will have to be issued with “some form of documentation”, the home secretary has said.
Amber Rudd told MPs she would not yet set out the details for any new EU ID card, but said: “There will be a need to have some sort of documentation. We are not going to set it out yet. We are going to do it in a phased approach to ensure that we use all the technology advantages that we are increasingly able to harness to ensure that all immigration is carefully handled.”
The home secretary’s statement came in response to Labour’s Hilary Benn, who told MPs that EU citizens already in the UK would need to be documented so that employers and landlords could distinguish them from EU citizens arriving after Brexit.
During Home Office questions in the Commons, Rudd also said she was aware of the need to continue the seasonal agricultural workers’ scheme after Brexit, but again ruled out demands to remove international students from the annual net migration target.
The latest migration figures published last Thursday showed that almost 100,000 EU citizens living in the UK have applied to the Home Office to secure their status in Britain. The surge in applications has meant that a backlog is rapidly building up in a system that currently only processes 25,500 permanent residence applications every year.