Thousands still urged to sign up for settled status as Brexit chaos continues
Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq said she will vote against every Brexit deal
24 October, 2019 — By Richard Osley
‘People’s Vote’ campaigners gather at Camden Lock [Photo: Sarah O’Keefe]
THE Town Hall is urging thousands of EU citizens living in Camden to apply for settled status as the Brexit stalemate continues at Westminster.
With Prime Minister Boris Johnson still determined to ram his Brexit deal past MPs, the council is urging residents whose residency may be affected by Britain’s proposed divorce from Europe to take action now.
So far around 8,000 residents have applied, but this is less than half of the residents in Camden who may need to sign up to the Home Office’s scheme protecting people who have lived here for many years.
The council was continuing its awareness drive this week amid another chaotic week in the House of Commons which left Mr Johnson struggling to meet his “do or die” promise that Brexit would be completed by Halloween, next Thursday.
MPs voted against his timetable to pass legislation within a three-day window as Mr Johnson is expected to be hit with several potential amendments – one of which could be a requirement for a new national vote.
He responded with new challenges to hold a general election before Christmas. During a special sitting of the Commons on Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people marched outside demanding a “people’s vote” referendum on Brexit, including a sizeable contingent from Camden which included members of the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, Greens and people with no political affiliation beyond their opposition to leaving. Many gathered at Camden Lock bridge before the demonstration waving EU flags.
Communities chief Councillor Jonathan Simpson said Camden was holding advice surgeries for people who may need help with help with the scheme in a bid to avoid people running into difficulties if Britain Asked at last week’s full council meeting, how the campaign was going, he said posters were up at a bus stops and social media feeds were trying to provide help.
“The Camden New Journal featured a wraparound cover promoting settled status which reached 150,000 readers,” he said. “Frontline staff in the council, for example in libraries, are being given advice on how to signpost enquiries.”
As Labour’s Brexit spokesman, Holborn and St Pancras MP Sir Keir Starmer has been at the forefront of the action. “Johnson is the author of his own misfortune,” he said. “He only tried to bounce his deal through Parliament because he knows it will not withstand scrutiny.”
Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq has renewed her pledge to vote against all Brexit deals on the basis that she thinks none could be better than EU membership
. In Strasbourg, Lib Dem councillor Luisa Porritt, in her role as MEP, urged EU leaders to agree an extension to the Brexit deadline.