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Over 3.8m EU citizens apply to stay in UK after Brexit transition

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over 3 8m eu citizens apply to stay in uk after brexit transition

More than 3.8million EU citizens have applied to stay in the UK permanently after freedom of movement ends – with two million granted approval so far.

Nationals from the bloc and their families must go through the Home Office’s settlement scheme by June next year to carry on living and working in the country after the Brexit transition period.

According to the latest figures, 2,041,200 people had been granted settled status up to the end of last month. 

A further 1,475,500 were granted pre-settled status, where they will need to reapply again after living in the country for five years to gain permanent residence.

More than 3.8million EU citizens have applied to stay in the UK permanently after freedom of movement ends - with over two million granted approval so far

More than 3.8million EU citizens have applied to stay in the UK permanently after freedom of movement ends - with over two million granted approval so far

More than 3.8million EU citizens have applied to stay in the UK permanently after freedom of movement ends – with over two million granted approval so far

Some 4,600 applications were refused, 36,500 were withdrawn or void and 34,900 were invalid – where the Home Office decides someone is not eligible to apply or has failed to provide sufficient proof of residence.

In total, 3,805,200 applications have been received so far, with 3,516,700 processed.

The number of applications being submitted and processed dipped during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the Home Office said it received 92,000 in July and dealt with 133,100 during the month.

Immigration minister Kevin Foster said EU citizens were an ‘integral part of UK society’ and 3.5 million had already secured their rights in UK law.

‘There’s plenty of time left to apply before the June 30 2021 deadline and a wide range of support is available online, over the telephone and in person if you need it,’ he said. 

But the Liberal Democrats repeated calls for EU citizens to be given an automatic right to stay in the UK and special documentation to avoid ‘a new Windrush-style scandal’.

The party’s home affairs spokeswoman Christine Jardine said: ‘With so many people being refused settled status, granted only temporary ‘pre-settled status’ or still waiting for a decision, it’s clear that this Conservative Government’s scheme is anything but automatic.

‘And without physical proof of their rights, EU citizens will be at the mercy of the Conservatives’ hostile environment. They must not become the victims of a new Windrush-style scandal.’ 

The next official quarterly figures on how the scheme is progressing are due to be published towards the end of the month.

After Boris Johnson (pictured in Northern Ireland today) secured a Brexit deal, EU nationals and their families must go through the Home Office's settlement scheme by June next year to carry on living and working in the UK

After Boris Johnson (pictured in Northern Ireland today) secured a Brexit deal, EU nationals and their families must go through the Home Office's settlement scheme by June next year to carry on living and working in the UK

After Boris Johnson (pictured in Northern Ireland today) secured a Brexit deal, EU nationals and their families must go through the Home Office’s settlement scheme by June next year to carry on living and working in the UK

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Rishi Sunak faces backlash from retail giants over plans to axe tax-free shopping

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rishi sunak faces backlash from retail giants over plans to axe tax free shopping

Rishi Sunak is facing a backlash from retail giants including Selfridges, Harrods and Marks & Spencer over ‘catastrophic’ plans to axe tax-free shopping for tourists.

Bosses warned the Chancellor it would deliver a £5.6 billion hammer blow to the economy, decimate high streets and wipe out 70,000 jobs.

Selfridges managing director Anne Pitcher said it was ‘another nail in the coffin’ for city centre firms reeling from lockdown and working hard to lure shoppers.

Rishi Sunak (pictured) is facing a backlash from retail giants including Selfridges, Harrods and Marks & Spencer over ¿catastrophic¿ plans to axe tax-free shopping for tourists

Rishi Sunak (pictured) is facing a backlash from retail giants including Selfridges, Harrods and Marks & Spencer over ¿catastrophic¿ plans to axe tax-free shopping for tourists

Rishi Sunak (pictured) is facing a backlash from retail giants including Selfridges, Harrods and Marks & Spencer over ‘catastrophic’ plans to axe tax-free shopping for tourists

She said the tax grab would drive international travellers to Paris and other European cities at a time when British firms needed them most.

Millions of wealthy tourists from China and the Middle East come to Britain to shop each year, spending £22 billion on hotels, restaurants and cultural attractions during their stay. 

Business chiefs are threatening legal action after the Treasury quietly announced that at the end of the year it would pull out of the VAT Retail Export Scheme, which lets overseas visitors reclaim the 20 per cent in VAT on items such as clothes, handbags and jewellery.

Most countries outside the EU extend the same perk to British travellers and businesses.

Harrods (pictured) are among the retail giants warning the Chancellor his plans would deliver a £5.6 billion hammer blow to the economy, decimate high streets and wipe out 70,000 jobs

Harrods (pictured) are among the retail giants warning the Chancellor his plans would deliver a £5.6 billion hammer blow to the economy, decimate high streets and wipe out 70,000 jobs

Harrods (pictured) are among the retail giants warning the Chancellor his plans would deliver a £5.6 billion hammer blow to the economy, decimate high streets and wipe out 70,000 jobs

Ms Pitcher blasted the ‘appalling’ move – which has left bosses ‘in shock’ and would hit tourism, retailers and other city centre firms – and demanded an immediate review.

She said organisations had recommended extending the scheme to European visitors after Britain leaves the EU on January 1 to help kick-start tourism after Covid-19.

Any additional tax revenue from the latest decision would be wiped out by a drop in visitors, she said.

‘This should have been a golden opportunity to make Britain one of the most desirable countries to visit. Instead, with a single swipe, the Government has taken more than £20 billion of opportunity from the economy. 

Selfridges managing director Anne Pitcher said it was ¿another nail in the coffin¿ for city centre firms reeling from lockdown and working hard to lure shoppers, Pictured: File image of Selfridges

Selfridges managing director Anne Pitcher said it was ¿another nail in the coffin¿ for city centre firms reeling from lockdown and working hard to lure shoppers, Pictured: File image of Selfridges

Selfridges managing director Anne Pitcher said it was ‘another nail in the coffin’ for city centre firms reeling from lockdown and working hard to lure shoppers, Pictured: File image of Selfridges

This isn’t just a problem, it’s a catastrophe,’ said Ms Pitcher. ‘People don’t just shop when they come. They stay in hotels, eat, travel throughout the UK. Those businesses will be severely impacted.’

Ewan Venters, chief executive of Fortnum & Mason, said he was ‘flabbergasted’, warning: ‘This is a significant blow to our recovery.’

In a letter to Mr Sunak, 20 firms in the Association of International Retail point out the huge volume of purchases by non-EU tourists at flagship shops props up ‘more marginal stores’, warning: ‘They will be the first to close and lose jobs.’

A Treasury spokesman said: ‘We’re making use of the end of the transition period to bring personal duty and tax systems in line with international norms. This was subject to consultation. 

VAT-free shopping is still available. Retailers are able to offer it to overseas visitors who purchase items in store and have them sent to their home addresses.’

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Bystanders run for cover as gunman strikes in triple shooting outside a Coventry Chinese takeaway 

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bystanders run for cover as gunman strikes in triple shooting outside a coventry chinese takeaway

This is the terrifying moment bystanders were forced to run for cover after a gunman struck in a triple shooting outside a Chinese takeaway.

The CCTV footage was recorded near Coventry, West Midlands, as the suspect opened fire on Thursday night.

Police have now imposed a dispersal order and said that they are now ploughing ‘significant’ resources into its effort to catch the offenders behind the attack.

In the clip, a group of young men standing together on the pavement can be seen ducking for cover as the gunman opens fire from beyond the camera.

The assailant is then thought to have driven off at speed in a dark-coloured vehicle.  

Three people were injured after the gunman, who is thought to have had an accomplice driving a car, opened fire.

Two of the victims have been discharged from hospital but a third continues to receive medical treatment.     

Bystanders were forced to run for cover after a gunman struck in a triple shooting outside a Chinese takeaway in Coventry, West Midlands

Bystanders were forced to run for cover after a gunman struck in a triple shooting outside a Chinese takeaway in Coventry, West Midlands

Bystanders were forced to run for cover after a gunman struck in a triple shooting outside a Chinese takeaway in Coventry, West Midlands

A police spokesman said: ‘The man that we thought was most seriously injured was less serious than first thought and has been discharged from hospital. One still remains in hospital in a stable condition.

‘We are continuing to put significant resources into patrolling the area and trawling CCTV to apprehend the offenders. We also have a Dispersal Order in place in Far Gosford Street.’ 

Dispersal powers are granted under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and mean officers can direct anyone to leave an area whose behaviour is likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress.

The road was initially closed while police forensically examined the scene and went door-to-door speaking to traders following the incident on Thursday night

The road was initially closed while police forensically examined the scene and went door-to-door speaking to traders following the incident on Thursday night

The road was initially closed while police forensically examined the scene and went door-to-door speaking to traders following the incident on Thursday night

Police also have the power to seize items that are used to cause distress, including bicycles.  

Speaking the day after the incident, Chief Inspector Paul Minor, of Coventry Police, said: ‘We’ll be stepping up patrols in the area over the coming days.

‘This was outrageous violence on the streets of the city centre and we’re doing everything we can to bring those responsible to justice.’

The road was initially closed while police forensically examined the scene and went door-to-door speaking to traders.

The street has since returned to normality as staff at the Chinese takeaway boarded up a bullet hole in the window and swept up debris. 

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DAN HODGES: Why Dishy Rishi is turning into Ruthless Rishi, the Iron Chancellor

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dan hodges why dishy rishi is turning into ruthless rishi the iron chancellor

Dishy Rishi is about to be put on furlough. ‘People have lost perspective,’ an ally of the Chancellor tells me. 

‘We’ve spent £350billion protecting the economy, but we’ve now reached the point where this isn’t even registering.

‘Someone said to him last week, ‘Why aren’t you doing anything for the theatre?’ We’ve given the theatres £1.6billion. Things are going to have to change.’

As Covid threatens to plunge Britain into a double-dip lockdown, Sunak is only too aware he cannot simply turn off the spending taps. 

But over the past few weeks, he’s become increasingly concerned that the country – and even some of his own colleagues – have started to believe there is an unlimited supply of public cash to be thrown at the coronavirus crisis.

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33385950 8751789 image m 17 1600561990652

As Covid threatens to plunge Britain into a double-dip lockdown, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is only too aware he cannot simply turn off the spending taps

‘We can’t chuck people to the wolves,’ a Minister explains, ‘but everyone is going to have to start to realise that over the medium term this sort of spending can’t continue. It’s not economically sustainable and it’s not politically sustainable.’

So as he prepares for a combined autumn Budget and spending review, Dishy Rishi is set to be replaced by Ruthless Rishi.

The Government will continue to provide support. But, as an ally frames it: ‘We’re going to get back to a situation where every pound we spend is going to have to be replaced somewhere else.’

To reassert fiscal prudence, Sunak had been eyeing the ‘triple lock’ on pensions introduced by David Cameron and George Osborne. But I understand Boris Johnson has baulked at unpicking such a totemic policy commitment.

So instead he will be looking for other significant – and politically explosive – savings. First there will be a major squeeze on public-sector pay.

‘It just wouldn’t be right if 16 per cent of the workforce were seeing big pay increases just at the time when everyone else in the economy is having to tighten their belts,’ a Minister explains.

There will also be a freeze on welfare. Ministers have been working on a worst-case scenario of four million unemployed as the existing levels of support for businesses and workers begins to unwind.

Some remain hopeful that a jobs apocalypse on this scale can be averted.

But they believe that whatever final toll Covid wreaks on employment, there is no scope – or public appetite – for an uprating of individual benefits.

And I’m told there’s significant Treasury pushback on Boris’s cherished Operation Moonshot – or Operation Moonf***, as some of the more hard-bitten Treasury civil servants have started branding it.

The Chancellor is said to be supportive of investment on health measures that can get Britain safely back to work.

But he is resisting releasing huge amounts of public money on what could turn out to be nothing more than a bottomless petri dish, until tried and tested technology is available to support the programme.

The Chancellor believes what is needed is an end to Covid-inspired fiscal complacency. Dishy Rishi has been sent home. It's now Ruthless Rishi who's sitting behind the Chancellor's desk

The Chancellor believes what is needed is an end to Covid-inspired fiscal complacency. Dishy Rishi has been sent home. It's now Ruthless Rishi who's sitting behind the Chancellor's desk

The Chancellor believes what is needed is an end to Covid-inspired fiscal complacency. Dishy Rishi has been sent home. It’s now Ruthless Rishi who’s sitting behind the Chancellor’s desk

Over the past few months, Sunak’s growing legion of fans on the Tory backbenches have come to view him as something of a fiscal magician – a swirl of the cape and flourish of the wand, and their constituents’ problems vanish in a puff of smoke.

But even though he is aware there will inevitably be damage to his personal brand, he is said by friends to have decided it’s time to present his colleagues with some harsh economic truths.

‘This Dishy Rishi stuff has got a bit out of hand,’ an ally concedes. ‘We’re facing a serious crisis. And were going to need to introduce a note of reality into all this.’

This chimes in part with the Chancellor’s own personal ideology. As a 15-year-old, he used to do the accounts in his mother’s pharmacy. ‘He’s been balancing the books since he was a teenager,’ says a friend.

He also spent the summer flicking through Nigel Lawson’s memoirs.

‘He tells me he’s a Lawsonian,’ one MP tells me. ‘He’s very hot on fiscal responsibility.’

An example of this is Sunak’s growing alarm at the UK’s debt-to-GDP ratio, which now exceeds 100 per cent.

‘Rishi is very, very worried about how vulnerable this makes us to even small variations in interest rates,’ a Minister reveals. ‘He thinks we’re in a very precarious position.’

But there is also a political calculation behind the Chancellor’s desire to damp down expectations that Britain can painlessly spend its way out of the Covid crisis.

Sunak is one of a growing number of Tory MPs who are becoming worried there is insufficient ‘blue water’ between them and Keir Starmer’s increasingly effective Labour Opposition.

‘There is not enough fiscal demarcation between us and Starmer,’ a Sunak supporter says. ‘We’re Conservatives. We’re going to have to draw a much clearer line between ourselves and Labour on the economy and spending.’

All of which is why Sunak has begun a major charm offensive of Tory backbenchers.

Sunak had been eyeing the 'triple lock' on pensions introduced by David Cameron and George Osborne. But Boris Johnson has baulked at unpicking such a totemic policy commitment

Sunak had been eyeing the 'triple lock' on pensions introduced by David Cameron and George Osborne. But Boris Johnson has baulked at unpicking such a totemic policy commitment

Sunak had been eyeing the ‘triple lock’ on pensions introduced by David Cameron and George Osborne. But Boris Johnson has baulked at unpicking such a totemic policy commitment

Last week saw the growing discontent at Boris’s faltering leadership explode into open revolt over the statement that No 10 was preparing to break international law to kick-start the Brexit negotiations. 

‘I don’t mind dying in the ditch over Brexit,’ one exasperated MP tells me, ‘but I do expect No 10 to at least dig me the ditch before the bullets start flying.’

Rishi Sunak is going to spend the next few weeks rolling up his sleeves, and digging in with his colleagues.

He knows that hard times are coming. That the crushing burden of Covid-19 on the UK economy can no longer be resisted by one-off loans and eye-catching restaurant discounts. And that when economic gravity finally reasserts itself, there will be a political backlash.

Some of his opponents think there is no place for him to hide.

‘We don’t think we’ll be fighting Boris at the next Election,’ one of Keir Starmer’s aides told me a few weeks ago, ‘but I’m not sure we’re going to be facing Rishi either. He’s very popular now, but let’s see how popular he is when the furlough scheme is taken away.’

But it isn’t popularity the Chancellor craves at the moment. He believes what is needed is an end to Covid-inspired fiscal complacency.

Dishy Rishi has been sent home. It’s now Ruthless Rishi who’s sitting behind the Chancellor’s desk.

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