Nationality and Borders Bill - amendment NC9 on physical proof of status
Thank you for writing to your MP
9 December 2021
the3million wants to express its gratitude for everyone who wrote to their MP ahead of the debate on the Nationality and Borders Bill in Parliament on the 8 December 2021 regarding the amendment NC9 tabled by Dame Meg Hillier MP on granting a physical proof of status to EU citizens in the UK.
Stuart McDonald MP also tabled an amendment asking for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) to be removed as a requirement when EU citizens apply for citizenship. (more about our CSI campaign here)
Although these amendments were not put to a vote and did not make it into the bill, your emails and letters to MPs helped prioritise these issues and the Government responded that they are looking into these issues again, including specifically referencing the3million's physical documents proposals.
Below are the video links
Watch Dame Meg Hillier MP introducing and presenting the NC9 amendment, followed by the minister Kevin Foster MP's response: https://youtu.be/-Dr1NPx45Hg
Watch Patrick Grady MP also lending his support on NC9: https://youtu.be/S5ZA5po5cfU
We look forward to the next stage in the House of Lords in the New Year, with hopefully some amendments to probe for more details on these Government responses.
We will continue to stand up and get our voices heard.
Instructions when writing to your MP:
Rather than provide a template, we give you some hints and tips below for writing to your MP. This is because a handful of personal emails have vastly more impact on MPs than a deluge of templated emails.
This parliament webpage gives very useful information about how to write to your MP, including how to find your MP’s email address: https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp/
Important things to mention in your introduction:
That you are a constituent (note that you must include your address when writing to your MP)
Asking for support for amendment NC9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill
“Settled and pre-settled status under EU settlement scheme: certification”
(1) Within granting a person settled status or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme, the Secretary of State must require the provision of a physical certificate to that person.
(2) The certificate mentioned in subsection (1) must confirm that the relevant person has the relevant status (settled status or pre-settled status).
Member’s explanatory statement This new clause would require the Government to issue a physical certificate when granting settled status or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme, allowing all those with such status to provide documentary proof.
Your personal situation and reasons for wanting a physical certificate
You are an EU citizen with settled/pre-settled status and want to continue your daily life without worries about discrimination, hassle at the border or loss of opportunity.
You are concerned about the ability of your EU citizen friends, family and neighbours to continue to live their daily life without worries about discrimination or loss of opportunity.
Add any detail about why digital-only worries you personally - especially if you have an example of where you lost out on an opportunity because of lack of physical proof of EUSS status.
To get the most impact, try to keep your letter brief and to the point. MPs and their staff get lots of letters from constituents and sometimes less is more.
Arguments you could add
If you wrote to your MP last year as part of the #DeniedMyBackup campaign or earlier this year with #ProofEqualityNow you could refer to your earlier letter and explain that since 1st July when digital-only proof of status under the EU Settlement Scheme went live, the3million has received hundreds of reports of:
People being held at airports in the UK and abroad because systems have failed or staff don’t understand how to check status
People being refused mortgages and bank accounts because they cannot provide a physical “visa” for banks
People being refused jobs because the recruiter systems insist on seeing a copy of a physical right to work document
People losing out on rental properties because systems are down and digital share codes cannot be generated in time or the agents’ systems cannot accept share codes
People unable to register for college courses because they were asked to provide a copy of their immigration “papers”
People who have been presented with hospital bills while seriously ill because they cannot show their status
People who cannot get their EHIC cards, or renew their driving licence with DVLA, because the share codes have expired before the application can be processed
People who cannot provide their digital status for a variety of purposes because they encounter errors when they go online to generate a share code.
All these people have the right to work, rent and live in the UK but cannot go about their daily lives because of the lack of a physical document to prove their immigration status.
You could also mention the QR code proposal from the3million as an option for delivering physical proof that we know the government is already “actively considering”. Details here: www.the3million.org.uk/fixing-the-digital-status
End with asking your MP to:
Support amendment NC9
Raise the issue with the Home Secretary and other members of Government
Important - INCLUDE YOUR ADDRESS
You must always include your own address when you write to your MP so that they will know you live in their constituency.