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may I suggest Anna Maria Tuckett, who until 13 years ago when she sadly had a disabled son was, she claims, a journalist. Mrs. Tuckett was born a Polish citizen, we gather, and married an Englishman with whom she had a son born in England – surprisingly it seems that although married with both a British husband and a British son she has never opted to apply for British citizenship.
Now she seems to have been accepted, irresponsibly and without fact checking by The Guardian, as a bona fides journalist – oblivious of the advances of the internet and her right tand ability to check the facts of her situation on the internet with the Government, through her various Councillors, via her MP or by recourse to the CAB – even if she had turned to a professional journalist on her local paper they would, for the sake of a good story, have had the skills to fact check and if needed recource to a competent retained lawyer within their paper.
That The Guardian irresponsibly and seemingly with malice aforethought published the story without fact checking – presumably because it fitted their bias and their agenda of FEAR politics to mislead the public with suchy palpable nonsense in the hope it would further their corrupt position.
Approached by a Polish friend, married to a Polish wife who has been in Britain for around 14 years and has two children born here, all of whom are fully integrated, it took me less than an hour to provide him with factual information to assure him he and his family could without fear remain in their adopted Country quite legally.
I assured him that the only similarity to the Windrush debacle was that he must make sure that he & his family complete any documentary confirmation of their settled status that may be required. To be on the safe side I suggested he wrote to his MP’s Constituency Office outlining his position and detailing such paperwork as he has requesting a written response to ensure he has documentary proof he is fully compliant – as ‘belt & bracers’ reassurance for their future.
The error made by the so called Windrush migrants was their failure to ensure they had suitably registered – this was a failing of the community within which they lived, their Councillors, schools and employers to ensure they had fully legal status.
May I suggest that in future The Guardian acquits its duty of care to avoid misleading and alarming those foolish enough to read its largely anti British propaganda rag and my advice to Mrs Tuckett is to at very least take a refresher course in journalism and fact checking before she again sets out to pass her work off as that of a professional journalist, next time she may find herself the wrong side of a legal claim as any British resident would expect!
People didn’t vote leave for my son to be separated from his mother
I’m a full-time carer for my disabled son. What will happen if I’m denied settled status in the UK and have to return to Poland?
Deal or no deal, that’s the question on everyone’s lips right now. But for me and the 140,000 other European carers and stay-at-home parents living in the UK, it makes no odds. Either way we are being faced with separation from the people we love. Either way I am being told that I am unworthy of citizenship, unworthy of my family. All because I chose to do what any mother would do in my circumstances and give my son the specialised care he needed.
[This update was added on 20 February 2019: In wake of publication of this article, the home office challenged the accuracy of several assertions in the piece. Some amendments were made, and are explained in the footnote below; the following statement from a home office spokesperson is also being inserted here: “The basis of this article is fundamentally wrong. We have made clear that EU citizens will not be refused status under the EU Settlement Scheme because, for example, they are economically inactive. The application only has three key steps – to prove your identity, to prove that you are living here, and to declare any criminal convictions.” Information on funding for help to apply has been included in the footnote.]
I was 31 when I had my son, who was diagnosed with autism and learning difficulties. I loved my career as a journalist, but it soon became clear I could not work outside the home as well as give him the care he needed. In the absence of specialist schools or services near to where we live in Salisbury, my husband and I made the decision that I would care for him full time.
I am therefore deemed “economically inactive” by the government. I have been warned by friends and migration think tanks that I am therefore unlikely to qualify for British citizenship. The 3 million campaign, the movement of European citizens living in the UK, estimates that 320,000 people are at risk of not qualifying for settled status, either because they are apparently economically inactive, or because an understaffed Home Office is struggling to keep up with applications and demanding additional paperwork.
I have had 13 years of early mornings, late nights, of difficult situations beyond most people’s imagination. No one pays me to do this work – and work it is, despite what Theresa May might tell me. To fear deportation on top of that is unspeakable. And yet this is where we are.
Last month, May thankfully scrapped the £65 charge for EU citizens living in the UK to apply for settled status after the 29 March 2019. Initially, we rejoiced: was it the glimmer of hope we needed? But since this fleeting victory, the farcical cruelty of the application process has been revealed. To apply for settled status you have to prove your identity – but this can only be done on a latest model Android device. Those of us with older phones – or iPhones – have to go into one of only 13 centres around the UK to prove we are who we say we are. The only centre in Scotland is in Edinburgh. There isn’t one in Cornwall – the closest centre is in Bath, in Somerset.
The Home Office seems impervious to the fact that lives are complicated and that people may have gaps in employment because they were made redundant or the company they worked for went bust. Many of my friends have spent hours trawling their emails to check dates for every single holiday or work-related trip abroad they have taken in the last five years, to provide evidence that they have not breached rules regarding how long residents are allowed to leave the country each year. The most upsetting aspect of settled status is that it has been designed without taking into account personal relationships: marriages, civil partnerships or children.
The Home Office seems to have learnt nothing from the Windrush scandal. My British friends are aghast when I tell them that my 14-year marriage to my British husband, and being a mother of a 13-year-old British son, are irrelevant. “Surely,” they ask, incredulous, “you can stay if you are married and have children?” Even if they voted leave, they did not vote for families to be ripped apart.
The truth is, I’ve not yet dared to apply. I can’t face it. The idea that a computer will say no and I will be separated from my son doesn’t bear thinking about. If I am rejected, where does the government imagine I would go? England is my home, not Poland, the country I left 15 years ago, where I have no property and no job prospects. Am I to live with my elderly mother in her one-bedroom flat, while my husband becomes a single parent to our disabled son, and juggles a full-time job and full-time care?
Behind talk of backstops and borders, there are real people whose families are being torn apart while parliament plays politics with our lives. My only hope now is for a people’s vote. Brexit is ushering in more than a hostile environment towards migrants. It is changing the face of the country I have called home for most of my adult life. I have worked here. I have loved here. I have a son and husband here. My life is here. I don’t deserve to be told by an automated message on a mobile phone application that I no longer belong.
• Anna Maria Tuckett is a former journalist, writer and full-time carer
• This article was amended on 19 and 20 February 2019 to clarify who warned the author she was “unlikely to qualify for citizenship”: in this case, friends and migration think tanks, as distinct from any government official (no residence application having yet been made, as the story later says). A subheading has been corrected because it wrongly stated that UK settled status could be denied “because” the author is a home-based carer. A paragraph has been deleted because it incorrectly quoted the home secretary, Sajid Javid, as saying EU citizens seeking to stay in Britain would have to prove they have been “assets” to the British economy. A home office statement added that: “We have made up to £9 million of funding available to voluntary and community sector organisations to help us reach more vulnerable or at-risk EU citizens and their family members directly to help them get the status they need.”
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With an avg. 1.2M voters per MEP & Britain with 16% of EU GDP and 13% of the EU’s population yet having only 8% (if united) say, whilst holding less than 3% of the various offices within the EU Do note The EUropean Parliament has no ability to make policy and has a Commission of unelected bureaucrats, thus clearly the EU is not even a pretence of being a democracy despite its protestations!Do note that many senior apparatchicks and even elected politicians speak openly of the ‘Post Democratic era’ with no sense of shame or irony and in complete contempt of the so called electorate – yet The EU & many of its vassal States/Regions are all too willing to slaughter people in Sovereign States, to impose The EU’s chosen brand of democracy on them!
Now as President Junker announced in his ‘State of the union’ speech 2017 the aim is to create an EU military force and centralise ever more of the decision making and control!
The imposition of a Government and policies upon its vassal regions such as the peoples of Greece shows just how far from being a democracy the EU is.
Just follow the recent EU display of so called ‘Democracy’:
France and the Netherlands voted against the proposed EU constitution in 2005, only to have those votes ignored.
Ireland voted against ratifying the Lisbon treaty in 2008, but then later under pressure & threats had to change its mind.
Greece for me was the final straw. It became clear in 2015 that it didn’t matter which way the Greek people voted. The birthplace of democracy had become its tomb. That was enough. I was going to vote to leave the EU when the chance came.
No political party of any significance in Britain took active steps to achieve a Referendum – the task was eventually taken by an Indipendent West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire who personally launched and funded the gathering of a petition of 225,000 signatures delivered to Parliament via Downing Street, thus forcing a debate in the House of Commons on an IN/OUT Referendum, which led to David Cameron’s first consequential rebellion.
It was due to winning that debate, officially opposed by every party including Ukip that David Cameron was forced to include a promise of an IN/OUT Referendum in the Tory Manifesto at the next General Election. The rest is history & despite no Parliamentary Party backing the OUT vote & Government spending Millions of Pounds of public money leafletting & promoting ‘Project Fear’ to try to persuade the British people to Remain just as they had at the first Referendum in 1975 – This time their lies and threats were not heeded and in the largest vote in British history Britain voted by a clear majority to Leave.
Nikki Sinclaire’s OUT result left Cameron & his co conspirator Osborne with no option but to resign, sadly some of the other traitors have remained to try to hinder progress to BreXit, aided by their corrupt allies in the EU and \eu funding and bribes!
There will be little or no change in Britain’s economic position, if we leave the EU, using a better negotiated, customised & updated version of the ‘Norway Model’ as a stepping stone to becoming a full member of the Eropean Economic Area, where all will benefit, as we secure trade relations with the EU’s vassal regions, with an EFTA style status and can trade and negotiate independently on the global stage, as members of The Commonwealth and the Anglosphere.
This is of course dependent on a modicum of intelligence on the part of Britain’s politicians and negotiators but it also requires the integrity of Parliament to uphod democracy and the integrity of EU politicuians & apparchicks to act ethically and without their normal vindictive mallice.
I believe Leaving the EU will be turned into something of a rough ride by the ignorant and the corrupt but I have no doubt that in the long run Leaving the EU will prove conclusively to be in the best interests of Britain and our true allies. I also believe that Britain leaving the EU will prove to be the catalyst to great changes within the EU and hopefully its democratisation as without great changes it is indubitably doomed.
Do not overlook the fact that politicians have plotted and schemmed since the 1950s and we have actually been vassals of the EU, when it was still using the aesopian linguistics and calling itself The Common Market in the early 1970s, a name the bureaucrats arbitrarily changed to EUropean Union in the early 1990s as they worked towards their long term goals of an ever closer centrally controlled Political and economic Union with its own anthem, currency, flag and rigid central control by its self appointed bureacrats towards a new Empirate –
It will take many years to rectify the mess our political class got us into and we have no other peacefull means by which to extricate ourselves than to depend on that self same self styled elite, who all too often forget they work for us!
One huge benefit of BreXit will be that we can negotiate with bodies like the WTO, UN, WHO, IMF, CODEX and the like, directly, in our own interest and that of our partners around the world, in both the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere at large; rather than having negotiations and terms imposed by unelected EU bureacrats and their interpretation of the rules handed down, as if they were some great achievement of the EU’s!The greatest change and benefit will be political, as we improve our democracy and self determination, with the ability to deselect and elect our own Government, with an improved Westminster structure, see >Harrogate Agenda<.
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