More than 750k Europeans have applied to stay in UK after Brexit

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MPs are concerned about certain aspects of the EU settlement scheme. (GETTY)

More than three-quarters of a million people have applied to secure their post-Brexit status in the UK as MPs fear that the EU citizens settlement scheme could be the new Windrush scandal.

The number of applications to the Government’s EU settlement scheme passed the 750,000 mark in recent days, according to the Home Office.

The government has warned that it runs the risk of another Windrush scandal if “serious concerns” surrounding its EU settlement scheme are not addressed.

The Commons Home Affairs Committee said technical issues had "blighted" the scheme, with some struggling to navigate the online application system.

Conservative MP Boris Johnson leaves a house in London on May 30, 2019. - Boris Johnson, considered the frontrunner to become Britain's next prime minister, must appear in court over allegations that he knowingly lied during the Brexit referendum campaign, a judge ruled Wednesday. Johnson, the former foreign secretary, will be summoned to appear over allegations of misconduct in public office, judge Margot Coleman said in a written decision, without specifying the date. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson is one of the MPs who could be replacing Theresa May to navigate Brexit from now. (GETTY)

Official figures show that, as of the end of last month, more than 100,000 Poles had applied – the highest of any nationality.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “EU citizens are our friends, neighbours and colleagues who contribute so much to this country. Whatever the outcome of Brexit, we want them to stay.

“Our free and straightforward EU Settlement Scheme has already seen 750,000 applications – which is immensely encouraging.

“I hope this early success continues in the coming months.”

Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid arrives to attend the weekly meeting of the Cabinet at 10 Downing Street in central London on May 21, 2019. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said EU citizens should stay after Brexit. (GETTY)

As well as EU nationals, the scheme is open to citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, which are in the European Economic Area (EEA) but not EU member states, as well as those from Switzerland. Non-EEA family members can also apply.

Successful applicants are granted immigration status confirming their right to continue living and working in the UK indefinitely.

People who have lived continuously in the country for five years can obtain settled status.

Those with less than five years’ residence can acquire pre-settled status, which can later be converted into settled status.

Following three trial phases, the scheme went fully live at the end of March.

New statistics published on Thursday show that 389,900 applications were received in the first month following the full launch.

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MPs fear EU settlement scheme will lead to 'new Windrush scandal'

Labour’s Yvette Cooper has said: “The problems faced by the Windrush generation showed how easily individuals can fall through gaps in the system through no fault of their own and how easily lives can be destroyed if the Government gets this wrong.

“Too many people could be missed out under the current plans for the Settlement Sc

Government estimates indicate that between 3.5 million and 4.1 million European Economic Area citizens and their family members could be eligible to apply to the scheme by the end of 2020.

Applicants are asked to prove their identity, declare any criminal convictions and upload a facial photograph.

Officials check employment and benefits data to confirm proof of residence and all applications are run through UK criminality and security databases.

The deadline for applying will be June 30 2021 in a deal departure, or December 31 2020 if the UK leaves without a deal.

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