No comprehensive sickness insurance requirement

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration 3:45 pm, 5th March 2019

I thank the hon. Members for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East and for Paisley and Renfrewshire North for their new clause 44, which seeks to ensure that the EU settlement scheme does not place a requirement on applicants to hold, or to have held, comprehensive sickness insurance. I welcome the intention of the new clause, but it is not necessary. The Government have been clear from the beginning that we would not be testing for comprehensive sickness insurance. We made that clear as early as June 2017, when we published our public document on safeguarding the position of EU citizens, and the Prime Minister reiterated it in October 2017 in her open letter to EU citizens.

Appendix EU to the immigration rules does not contain a requirement to have held comprehensive sickness insurance, and that will not change. Eligibility for the scheme will continue to be based on residence and not permitted activity. I therefore ask the hon. Member for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East to withdraw the clause.