Support planned for Rotherham's thousands of EU citizens after Brexit

Libraries staff will be on standby in Rotherham if needed to help the town’s estimated 7,000 EU residents complete the paperwork they need to stay in the area if Brexit goes ahead.

Rotherham town hall
Rotherham town hall

Rotherham Council has been involved in contingency planning to try to minimise any disruption, regardless of how the Brexit situation develops in the weeks ahead.

That has proved problematic, because of the need to duplicate scenarios to take account of the impact of different outcomes of the UK’s discussions with EU leaders over the future relationship.

But councillors have been told arrangements have been put in place which could see libraries staff help out with administrative work residents would have to do to formalise their UK residency if Britain leaves the European community later this month.

Council spokesman Shokat Lal told councillors: “We are trying to separate rumour and urban myth, as to what the reality is.

“We have submitted an expression of interest to provide support to EU citizens and their families, if they need it.

“It is an online service; maybe they don’t have access to the right devices or are not sure of the documentation they need,” he said.

“We would support them through our library service, it would have an appointment service through the Home Office contract,” he said.

A voluntary sector organisation has also put in a bid for Government cash to provide support services for EU citizens, but at this stage it was unclear whether that application had been successful, he said.