The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched a ‘LondonIsOpen’ bus on a four-day tour of the capital, providing crucial advice and guidance to European nationals who wish to remain in London post-Brexit and who have been left in limbo by the Government during the continued uncertainty of the Brexit negotiations.
The bus will begin its journey visiting areas of London with high numbers of European nationals the day before Government launches its EU Settlement Scheme. This is the process that EU citizens and their families will need to apply for if they wish to remain in the UK after it leaves the EU.
The bus, staffed by immigration lawyers, working pro-bono, and volunteers offering free advice and information, will provide crucial reassurance and guidance to EU Londoners whose rights have been overlooked during the Brexit process.
The change to the rights of EU nationals is by far the biggest alteration in immigration status for a generation. The Mayor is concerned that it has caused a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty for the more than one million EU citizens who have made London their home, and for their families and friends.
Covering ten boroughs in four days, the roadshow will help City Hall engage with hard-to-reach communities and vulnerable European Londoners who are most at risk of not applying for Settled Status. Community centres, libraries and employers such as Westfield and Heathrow Airport are among the stops on the route.
The bus, branded with ‘We Are All Londoners’ in European languages, marks the latest part of the Mayor’s London Is Open campaign, which aims to show the world that, despite Brexit, London is united and open and that EU Londoners still belong here.
Alongside this, the Mayor is also launching the full version of City Hall’s online EU Londoners Hub. This Hub supports EU Londoners through the Settled Status process and includes information on how to access expert legal guidance, translation services and other crucial information.
Tahmid Chowdhury, Co-founder of Here for Good, an immigration advice charity, who will be on the bus, said: “We’re proud to continue our partnership with the Mayor of London, building on our EU Londoners Hub work to take volunteer lawyers across the capital to communities that need their support.
“Citizens’ rights represent the human challenge of Brexit. As a young but committed charity, we’re focused on helping those who need our help to stay here for good.”