24 Apr 2018

Painless’ procedure for EU citizens in UK using app – but only if you have an Android phone

British officials have been briefing MEPs in Brussels on how the post-Brexit registration process will operate for EU citizens who want “settled status” and to remain in the UK.

Even before the Windrush story hit the headlines, some EU citizens and politicians and been pretty sceptical about the UK Home Office’s capacity to register EU citizens effectively and sensitively. That scepticism seems only to have grown.

I’m told that the Home Office team brought up Windrush before the European Parliament Brexit Steering Group could and spent the first five minutes of the encounter apologising for it.

The presentation that followed included a walkthrough of the app which the government hopes will make registering a wish to stay in the UK a straightforward and painless experience for EU citizens. It is an Android app and so not compatible with Apple technology. I’m told the officials said that if you only have an iPhone you could borrow another device from a friend.

The officials said it would be a priority to slow down the process of applications as much as possible as there were concerns the whole system could crash if too many people apply in one go.

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