Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) raised concerns about the UK EU Settlement Scheme and the set-up of the independent authority at their plenary debate on Brexit this week. In its resolution on the subject, the EP stresses that its consent to the Withdrawal Agreement will take into account "experiences gained and assurances given" about the protection of citizens’ rights (to enter into force, the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK needs to be approved by the EP after the ratification process in the UK has been completed).
In particular, Parliament expresses concerns about the application-based approach used in the UK EU Settlement Scheme, the absence of physical proof for successful applicants, and its accessibility, among other issues. MEPs question the set-up and independence of the UK’s “independent authority” foreseen in the Withdrawal Agreement, stating that they would welcome the establishment of a joint European Parliament - UK Parliament scrutiny mechanism. They also point out that the adopted text calls for information campaigns to be launched to prepare citizens and urges governments in EU27 member states to adopt consistent and generous measures to provide legal certainty for UK citizens residing in their territory.
The resolution was adopted with 610 votes in favour, 29 against and 68 abstentions following a debate on Tuesday that focussed largely on the future of freedom of movement and limiting the impact of Brexit on citizens’ lives.
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