COSLA is working with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to provide Scotland-wide assistance to councils in supporting vulnerable people through the EUSS application service. For more information click here.
COSLA and Scottish local authorities are committed to lessening the sense of uncertainty amongst EU citizens living in Scotland. COSLA is working with the UK Government and Scottish Government to ensure that EU/EEA citizens living in the UK are well informed and can access settled status. We have been working with partners to ensure vulnerable users with complex needs and access issues are identified and can be supported through the settlement process.
Key information regarding the EU Settlement scheme (EUSS):
· The EUSS is open. EU citizens can be signposted to GOV.UK where they will find a step by step guide to applying for EU settlement status. The guide has been translated into 26 European languages.
· The Scottish Government 'Stay in Scotland' toolkit provides a package of support to help EU citizens stay in Scotland.
· The UK Government community leadership toolkit equips local authorities and community groups with information and materials to support EU citizens to apply to the EUSS.
· The Home Office provides grant funding to third sector organisations to support vulnerable citizens apply to the EUSS – list of organisations.
For further information on COSLA’s work in this area see our POLITICAL PAPERS.
For further information on the UK Government’s EUSS: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
Post-Brexit Immigration system
COSLA and Scottish local authorities have consistently acknowledged and valued the social, cultural and economic benefits migrants bring to Scotland. COSLA continues to make the case that the very real possibility of a significant reduction in migration to Scotland from EEA countries will adversely impact on Scotland’s local authorities.
The Immigration and Social Security (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2020 will end free movement of persons. The UK Government published a policy statement in February 2020 setting out a new points-based immigration system, which will apply to EU and non-EU citizens. The system will replace free movement and will come into place 1st January 2021. COSLA has serious concerns about how this new immigration system will impact on our local economy, workforce and our ability to counteract our demographic challenges, in comparison to the benefits that we have experienced under free movement.
We believe that Scotland should have a flexible immigration system that considers local area needs.
In particular, we are concerned about:
· Demographics and the potential impact on local authorities’ ability to attract a young workforce and counteract our growing ageing population.
· The impact on the labour market and local economies.
· The effects of Brexit on integration and the rights and entitlements of EU/EEA citizens living in Scotland.
Key COSLA evidence submissions are:
- COSLA response to Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) call for evidence on skills shortages (June 2020)
- COSLA submitted written evidence to the Public Bill Committee setting out our concerns regarding the Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill and the UK’s future skills-based immigration system White Paper (February 2019)
- COSLA responded to the MAC call for evidence on EEA workers in the UK labour market in the light of Brexit. You can download our response by clicking on the following link: COSLA MAC Response on EEA Workers (PDF). (December 2017)