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Boris Johnson dismisses plea to extend deadline for EU settlement scheme

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has been of leaving thousands of EU nationals “in limbo” over their post-Brexit immigration status.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford called on the prime minister to scrap the settled status scheme and grant automatic citizenship to Europeans who live in the UK.

Mr Blackford warned the June 30 deadline for applications could result in “thousands of our friends and neighbours could become illegal immigrants.”

He added: “They are living in fear for their jobs, their families, their livelihoods – and all because this Prime Minister won’t keep his word.”

Mr Johnson responded: “It’s fantastic that 5.6 million people have applied.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

“We are processing all the applications as fast as we possibly can and clearly the most important thing is for anybody who hasn’t applied to get their application in today.

“There’s been several extensions of the deadline, it’s five years now since the Brexit referendum.”

More than 5.6 million applications have been received, but around 400,000 cases are still waiting to be processed.

Ministers have made it clear anyone who applies on time will have their existing rights protected while their case is heard and that anyone with a reasonable excuse can make a late application.

Once granted status, applicants can continue to use the NHS, study and access public funds and benefits, as well as travel in and out of the country.

According to provisional Home Office figures 5.5 million applications have been received since the scheme opened in March 2019 and 5.2 million have been finalised.

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