Friday, March 12, 2021

Council acts to protect Veterans' rights to remain in UK

West Lancashire Borough Council is taking steps to ensure all Commonwealth Service personnel have equal citizenship rights following the news that eight Commonwealth Soldiers have been denied their leave to remain in the United Kingdom and facing application fees of over two thousand pounds.

The Council will be writing to the Home Office and the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Johnny Mercer MP, requesting a change in the Law so that anyone who gives more than five years exemplary service to the Crown has automatic leave to remain in the UK and that applications fees cease. 

West Lancashire Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Terry Devine, said: "We stand united on this matter and strongly believe that all current and former service personnel regardless of the nationality or place of birth, are recognised for their bravely and service to this country."

The Council's call for a change in the law follows reports that a group of soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are taking legal action against the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence over an alleged systemic failure to assist them with complex, unaffordable immigration rules on discharge, leaving them classified as illegal immigrants, facing unemployment and homelessness and fearing deportation.