Efforts to settle EU nationals in Swansea and Wales have been a success, councillors told

More than 4,400 people in Swansea who came from the European Union are able to live and work here indefinitely, figures have shown.

A total of 4,450 people have what is known as settled status, having proved to the authorities since the UK formally left the EU in January 2020 that they have lived in the UK continuously for five years.

A further 3,580 people in Swansea have pre-settled status, meaning they can live and work in the UK for five years.

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The figures were in a Swansea Council committee report about the post-Brexit situation and the work that had been undertaken by the authority to prepare for it.

A council officer told the committee that a lot of work had gone on at a local and national level in Wales to encourage people from the EU to apply for the scheme before the deadline of June 30, 2021.

“The authorities put a huge amount of work into settled status,” he said.

And that work, he said, had been successful.

Wales-wide figures show a total of 90,580 applications from Wales were concluded up to the end of June, with 51,880 people granted settled status and 34,620 granted pre-settled status. This is more than had been forecast.

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The report said the Welsh Government was continuing to fund groups, including a law firm, which supported people still trying to apply for settled status. These are individuals who didn’t apply before the deadline but had reasonable grounds for not doing so and are eligible for the scheme.

The Welsh Government is also providing additional funding to the law firm to provide support for appeals.

The Swansea Council report said there remained concern about whether UK Government funding for Wales would match that previously provided via EU structural funds.

Deputy chief executive Adam Hill said the replacement Shared Prosperity Fund, which will come into force in the UK next April, is supposed to target pockets of deprivation and areas of poverty.

He told councillors: “We will keep you updated.”

Mr Hill said at this stage it wasn’t clear how much Shared Prosperity Fund money Swansea would get. The £2.6 billion fund over three years is for the whole of the UK.

The report also looked at the various supply chain issues which have emerged since Brexit and have been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic.

Councillors were told it was difficult to disentangle the effect of Brexit on Swansea and Wales from the wider impacts of Covid.

In the 2016 referendum, 52% of voters in Swansea backed Brexit while 48% wanted to stay in the EU.

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WalesOnline – Swansea