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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government plans to take to ensure that the Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreement (a) is independent and (b) ensures that applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme have access to an effective redress mechanism, beyond administrative review, to challenge decisions.
The Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) will be fully independent, with its own legal personality separate from Government. It will have its own board to set direction and make decisions. The Government will have no role in the day-to-day running of the IMA or the decisions it makes. To ensure the independence of the IMA, the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act places a statutory duty on the Secretary of State to have regard to the need to protect the operational independence of the IMA.
The IMA will be fully capable of monitoring our domestic implementation of the citizens’ rights parts in the Withdrawal Agreement and EEA EFTA Separation Agreement. Once the IMA is operational, this will include monitoring the EU Settlement Scheme. The IMA will be able to launch inquiries, receive complaints, and bring judicial review proceedings in order to safeguard the rights of citizens.