#DeniedMyBackup is discriminatory - challenge the Government today

by the 3million

#DeniedMyBackup is discriminatory - challenge the Government today

by the 3million
the 3million
Case Owner
the3million gives a voice to EU citizens in the UK. Visit our website www.the3million.org.uk Follow us on twitter @the3million
days to go
pledged of £20,000 stretch target from 599 pledges
Pledge now
the 3million
Case Owner
the3million gives a voice to EU citizens in the UK. Visit our website www.the3million.org.uk Follow us on twitter @the3million
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: May 13, 2021

#DeniedMyBackup - #DeniedPermission

High Court refused permission

Following a hearing on 28 April 2021, the High Court has refused us permission to bring our claim for judicial review in relation to the Home Office’s policy to pro…

Read more

Pledge your support today to stand up against discrimination

the3million is looking to challenge the UK Government in court for not issuing people with a physical proof of their (pre-) settled status. 

You can help to prevent the discrimination of some of the most vulnerable members of our society, including the elderly, people with disabilities and Romas.

#DeniedMyBackup - the UK Government refused to listen

In September 2020, the UK Government refused to listen to the concerns of the3million and other NGOs (who campaigned under the hashtag #DeniedMyBackup) warning them of risks of discrimination if they didn’t issue a physical document to the millions of EU citizens who have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme to stay in the UK after Brexit. 

The Immigration and Social Security Coordination Act 2020 passed without granting EU citizens a right to physical proof of their pre-settled or settled status, making them rely on a purely digital status instead. 

The lack of physical proof is failing people

We are now seeing increasing examples of where the lack of physical proof is failing people, unable for example to open a bank account because many providers demand a physical document.

I have entered my details on the government website numerous times in order to view my status as I will need to prove it soon but the system says that the details entered 'don't match our records'. I'm extremely worried about my status now, and anxious as I will need to prove my status soon in order to be enrolled at college.

Navigating a complex digital system to prove status can be challenging. As someone working with people with learning disabilities I cannot imagine how they are going to navigate a digital only proof of status. I am very concerned this promotes exclusion in society rather than inclusion! (Social Worker)

After entering my details and security code I got a message saying "there is a problem with this service at the moment, try again later."  I feel worried now that this can happen when I need it for rent, work or even travelling back into the UK. This is very unsettling and has caused my anxiety to get worse.

While many services today have a digital offering, these services all have a physical fallback for those who are unable to go digital. 

People can still pay for their car tax at a post office. Despite online banking, it is thankfully still possible for people to use coins to pay for their newspaper at the corner shop. 

Yet for this vitally important proof of immigration status, which can determine your rights to rent, to work, to healthcare, to help from the state, there is no physical fallback. 

Pledge today!

the3million has so far written a letter to the UK Government setting out our legal argument and why it is so important they give EU citizens the option of a physical proof of their status. If the Government do not reply favourably we will be forced to issue a claim for judicial review. 

We need to fundraise a minimum of £10,000 before issuing a claim on 18 February.

Please pledge to support the case now. With your support, we can rectify this injustice.

Recent contributions

Be a promoter

Your share on Facebook could raise £26 for the case

I'll share on Facebook
Update 3

the 3million

May 13, 2021

#DeniedMyBackup - #DeniedPermission

High Court refused permission

Following a hearing on 28 April 2021, the High Court has refused us permission to bring our claim for judicial review in relation to the Home Office’s policy to provide only a digital proof of status to EU citizens granted leave under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The full judgment is available here.

We argued that the digital-only status policy is unlawful because it will disproportionately disadvantage individuals who are digitally excluded, in particular older, disabled and Roma people.

The judge held that the claim is ‘premature’ because EU citizens will only be required to rely on the digital only system from 1 July 2021, after the end of the ‘grace period’. Until then, by law (if not necessarily in practice), they can continue to prove their status as they previously have, by showing their passport. The judge held that it will only be possible to determine whether the system will disproportionately disadvantage the relevant groups after the grace period has ended and the digital system is fully operational.

We argued that the system is already being required to be used in certain circumstance and, in any event, will predictably cause significant disadvantages for people and that these should be prevented as soon as possible. The judge did not agree that the issue should be dealt with by the courts at this stage, but left open the possibility that the same claim could succeed in the future once more evidence is available.

This is a disappointing outcome. Nonetheless, despite not winning in court, we think that bringing the claim was worthwhile. We have done everything we can to support vulnerable EU citizens and, in doing so, we have put the Home Office on notice that we are willing to litigate on their behalf when it is necessary to do so. This will hold the Home Office’s feet to the fire and ensure due attention is paid to the effects of the scheme following the end of the grace period.

In addition, we think that some positive changes have been made as a result of the claim. In particular, during the course of the litigation, the Home Office has revealed details of a telephone helpline that will be available to help people to access their status or, if they are unable to access it even with assistance, send proof of status directly to third parties such as employers and landlords. This is an important concession which should enable at least some people who cannot use the digital-only system independently to prove their status when required to do so (though we believe that there are many who will also not be able to access the helpline). The helpline does not appear to have been referred to publicly prior to us commencing this claim. We believe there is a very strong likelihood that its development was in response to the litigation. The Home Office has committed to publish guidance about the helpline before the end of the grace period on 30 June 2021.

We will continue to support and campaign for the option of a physical backup document for all EU citizens who wish to have one. We intend to closely monitor how the digital-only system is operating in practice following the end of the grace period. If, as we fear, the system does not work effectively and causes disadvantages to EU citizens, we will consider all options including further litigation.

If you experience any problems viewing or proving your status, please report them to us using our ‘report it’ tool: www.the3million.org.uk/report-it. This could be vital evidence for any future claim.

Many thanks for your continued support in relation to our work on this issue.

Update 2

the 3million

April 16, 2021

Permission hearing scheduled for 28 April

Unfortunately, after considering the paperwork we sent, the court did not give us permission to proceed with our case. We have requested a hearing with a judge so our legal team can explain our case a second time. 

The hearing date has been set for 28 April 2021. We should find out during the hearing whether the judge will give us the permission we need to proceed with the case fully. We will be represented by Chris Buttler QC during this permission hearing. 

Update 1

the 3million

Feb. 25, 2021

We've filed our claim

The Government refused to listen to our repeated requests to provide a physical document as a backup to digital status. As such, we filed a claim at the High Court on 18 February to challenge the policy on the basis that it discriminates against some of the most vulnerable members of our society who are unable to access and prove their status using the online system. Our case is supported by specialist organisations representing older people, disabled people and people from the Roma community. 

The Government now has three weeks to submit its initial response to our claim. After that, a judge will decide whether to grant us ‘permission’ to proceed to trial. We have asked for an expedited timetable to ensure that our case is heard before the end of the grace period on 30 June 2021, when those who are unable to prove their status will be exposed to the full force of the hostile environment.

We are hugely grateful to our supporters for the donations we have received so far. Without your support we would not be able to bring this important challenge.

In connection with the claim, we have applied to the Court for a ‘costs capping order’ to limit our liability to pay the Government’s costs if we lose. Without a costs cap, the3million would potentially be liable for a huge Government legal bill. This risk would threaten our very existence and make it impossible for us to continue with the claim. We have asked the Court to set the cap at the amount that we raise through crowdfunding, but, the more money we raise, the better the chances are that we will be awarded a favourable cost cap. Please keep giving what you can to help us overturn this discriminatory policy.

    There are no public comments on this case page.