To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Home Office's news story entitled New fund to support vulnerable EU citizens apply for settled status, published on 25 October 2018, for what reasons that fund has been set up rather than his Department extending provision of legal aid to cover vulnerable EU citizens applying for pre-settled and settled status.
The EU Settlement Scheme will provide a streamlined, user-friendly process, in line with the draft Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union published on 19 March 2018. This scheme will allow resident EU citizens and their family members to apply to obtain the UK immigration status which they will require in order to remain in the UK beyond the end of the planned implementation period on 31 December 2020.
For those EU citizens who might need additional help when applying under the scheme, the Home Office have announced a grant scheme for the voluntary and community sector which will help ensure support is available.
Legal aid may be available through Exceptional Case Funding, where there is a breach, or risk of a breach, of enforceable EU law or ECHR rights.