This week may be one of the most important ones for our situation since the referendum in June. Not only is the Supreme Court hearing the government’s appeal against the High court judgement, but also the Home Secretary Amber Rudd revealed her plans for those EU citizens who are currently living in the UK.
A historic Supreme Court case, in which all eleven judges are considering the government’s appeal regarding the use of the royal prerogative, will continue until Thursday and we will hear the verdict in January next year. If the government loses its appeal, it may file another one, ironically in the European Court of Justice, or alternatively accept that the whole Parliament will have a say on what happens with Brexit from now on, which is likely to slow down the process or might even stop it altogether.
In the meantime, during Home Office questions in the Commons, Ms Rudd said: “There will be a need to have some sort of documentation … but we are not going to set it out yet.
“We are going to do it in a phased approach, to ensure that we use all the technology advantages that we are increasingly able to harness, to ensure that all immigration is carefully handled.”
The opponents of the idea point to the high cost of the move, an estimated £100m, and the LibDems suggested the idea would require extra 3,000 Home Office staff.
The news comes after the latest migration figures showed that almost 100,000 EU citizens living in the UK have applied to the Home Office to secure their status in Britain. The surge in applications has meant that a backlog is rapidly building up in a system, which currently processes only 25,500 permanent residence applications a year.
Ms Rudd’s remarks suggest that once verified and documented, the EU citizens will be allowed to remain in the UK.