Sir – Last week this newspaper reported that 4,500 applications were made in Worcester to the mandatory EU Settled Status Scheme, which allows EU citizens to “live and work in the UK after Brexit”.

Of those 4,500 applications, 4,040 were finalised which, according to the article, means that “the rest had other outcomes, such as being refused or withdrawn “. The UK Government insists that the scheme works well but to hail the 10 per cent failure rate as a success is deeply worrying.

The settled status scheme effectively asks EU citizens who have been legally residing in the UK to apply for something that they already have. If that is not madness and a hostile environment policy in action, I don’t know what is.

I have always argued that EU citizens ought to receive a simple confirmation of their legal rights rather than be subjected to this humiliating application process.

The Home Office also seems to be defending the indefensible by saying that citizens don’t need to be issued with documentary confirmation of settled status.

That is an open invitation to discriminatory practices from landlords, who need to conduct checks of legal documents while renting property under another deeply flawed government scheme called ‘right to rent’.

If that is not enough trouble for EU citizens, now even well-meaning employers are likely to be biased against hiring them in the fear of breaching immigration laws.

Assurances made by Downing Street that those EU citizens who miss the settled status deadline will not be deported sounds hollow if one recalls the ongoing Windrush saga.Finally, the voting rights of EU citizens are far from guaranteed. So far, the UK has signed bilateral agreements ensuring reciprocal voting rights with Spain, Portugal and Luxembourg.

That leaves millions of other EU citizens without legal protection for their voting rights in the UK.

The same, of course, applies to British citizens living in the EU, who have been effectively abandoned by their government. While the EU citizens in the UK will be expected to pay their taxes as usual, their vote on how that tax revenue is spent locally is not guaranteed at all. The fact that this government risks tarnishing the good name of the British democracy by potentially disenfranchising millions of law-abiding citizens is scandalous.

Tom Piotrowski

Worcester Green Party