Since the Brexit referendum, Feniks conducted two research on the impact of the result on the mental health of the EU nationals’: in August 2016, soon after the referendum results were announced and an in-depth examination delivered in partnership with the Robert Gordon University. The researches were conducted in the one year distance and show the evolution of the moods within the community and revealed that the uncertainty around Brexit has had a strong impact on the mental health of the EU nationals, particularly those already suffering from the mental ill-health or being dependable to the state support.
See the full reports here:
- Report on EU nationals’ reaction and long-term consequences of the EU Referendum – Feniks study
The report has been favourably recognised by the Scottish Government and played a fundamental role in the motion “Protecting the Rights of EU Citizens in Scotland” introduced by the Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, Ben Macpherson. The motion recognised the significant contributions of the EU citizens make to Scotland and the rest of the UK socially, culturally and economically. It acknowledged that EU citizens enrich Scotland and are an integral part of communities across the country and noted that the approach of the UK Government towards the rights of EU citizens since 24 June 2016 has created long-running insecurity and anxiety for millions. The report and articles written on the basis of it were mentioned many times during the debate and convinced most of the politicians to vote for the motion that EU citizens should not have to apply to retain rights they already have if the UK.
Brexit and the introduction of the Settled Status Scheme have posed an additional challenge on our already vulnerable clients. People with mental ill-health, victims of domestic abuse, or otherwise disadvantaged are at risk of not applying and hence become illegal immigrants after December 2020. Hence we applied to the Home Office for a grant to open a service supporting EUSS applications for the most vulnerable members of CEE community. Our bid was successful and in June 2019 we gained the Immigration Services Commissioner’s accreditation to provide immigration advice at the Level 1. Since then over 5,000 service users have accessed our service and we supported 700 applications.