Bury North MP James Frith has welcomed an announcement by the Prime Minister in Parliament this week as the government finally caved to pressure from Labour MPs and campaigners to scrap the fee the government has imposed on EU citizens living in Bury and across the UK who wish to stay here after Britain leaves the EU.
James raised the case of Bury resident Antonietta Amodio directly with the Home Secretary in the House of Commons, in the presence of the Prime Minister, who confirmed the change in policy shortly afterwards.
Mrs Amodio has lived in Bury for 63 years and spent her life working in local services including the police where she even had to sign the Official Secrets Act for work. Yet she was recently informed that she and her husband, who came here 54 years ago, would need to apply and register for the right to stay here, at a cost of £65 each.
James said: “It isn’t right that the government took the decision to charge local people – some of whom like Mr and Mrs Amodio have lived here for decades serving our community – a fee to stay in the country they call home.
“I raised this case in the presence of the Prime Minister with the Home Secretary and was delighted when the Prime Minister confirmed that the government would scrap the scheme. This follows months of campaigning by my Labour colleagues and I and campaigners.
“The rights of EU citizens here or Brits in the EU should never have been used as a bargaining chip in the government’s Brexit negotiations.”