Home Office in the media

https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/12/18/home-office-in-the-media-wednesday-18-december/

Home Office in the media: Wednesday 18 December

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Today's leading stories include reports of migrant crossings, Windrush compensation and coverage of the latest EU Settlement Scheme figures.

Channel migrants

The Mail, Telegraph, Times, Sun and Mirror report that 69 migrants were intercepted off the Kent coast in perilous weather yesterday.

Coverage highlights that ten children were among the 69 migrants with their nationalities ranging from Iranian, Iraqi and Uzbeks.

The articles note that newly-elected Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke is seeking an urgent meeting with the Home Secretary following the latest incidents and called for more efforts to prevent the crossings.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Those attempting to cross the Channel in small boats are putting their lives in grave danger and the ruthless criminals who facilitate crossings do not care about the risk to life.

We are working closely at all levels with the French authorities to tackle this dangerous and illegal activity. Patrols on French beaches have been doubled and action to disrupt criminal gangs has been intensified.

Windrush

The Guardian reports that the recipient of one of the first Windrush compensation offers has said she plans to turn it down, describing the Government’s offer as “insultingly low” because it covers only a year’s loss of earnings even though she was out of work for a decade.

According to the article, the Home Office has calculated that she should receive £22,264 in compensation to cover loss of earnings, impact on family life and the distress caused by being wrongly detained on one occasion at Gatwick airport for a few hours.

In a separate Guardian article, it is reported that three generations of a family affected by Windrush are struggling to prove they are British in a “protracted fight” for documentation that has left Courtney Lawrence, 25, facing homelessness with her two-year old son.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

We are determined to right the wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme has been carefully designed with independent oversight to ensure that we deliver on that commitment and to make sure those who are eligible are compensated.

EU Settlement Scheme

The Times cover the latest EUSS figures released yesterday reporting that application by EU citizens to live and work in the UK after Brexit “slumped” by 75 per cent last month after Boris Johnson’s failure to leave the EU by the end of October.

The article notes that a total of 142,000 applied for post-Brexit settlement rights last month bringing the total number of applications to almost 2.6 million. It highlights that out of those, 2.2 million people from the EU have been given the right to stay with only five people turned down on the basis of their criminal convictions.

Minister of State at the Home Office Brandon Lewis said:

EU citizens have made an enormous contribution to the UK and we want them to stay.

2.6 million applications to the EU Settlement Scheme have already been submitted and I encourage people to keep applying. It’s free and there is plenty of support available.

We are leaving the EU on 31 January 2020, but people have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

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