ALMOST one million Europeans living in London have applied to stay permanently under the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme, figures showed today.
The Home Office statistics reveal that 992,570 EU nationals had submitted applications by the end of December — roughly a third of the more than three million received nationwide.
Romanians, who account for 161,000 applications, make up the biggest EU contingent from the capital seeking a permanent settlement, followed by 131,860 Italians and 100,000 Poles.
There have also been 83,940 applications from Spaniards, 60,320 from Bulgarians, 59,140 French, 39,560 Lithuanians and 31,180 Germans.
About nine out of 10 of the London applicants have been approved already, with the remainder still being processed. A borough breakdown shows that the largest number of applications has come from EU citizens in Newham — which has 68,510 registering for settlement — followed by Brent on 63,400 and Ealing with 54,510.
Announcing the figures, security minister Brandon Lewis said he was “delighted” with the number of applications, adding: “I recognise that EU citizens across the UK, many of whom read the Standard, may be feeling anxious.
“I want to speak directly to you: this is your home, you are an integral part of our society and we want you to stay.
“Your rights are guaranteed in UK law and are not subject to any of the ongoing negotiations with the EU.”
Mr Lewis said that those who had yet to apply could do so following “a straightforward process with three simple steps”. The deadline for applications is the end of June next year. Campaigners have expressed concern about what could happen to those who are unable to provide the right paperwork or fail to apply for various reasons.