Hands welcomes Settled Status Fee Waiver for EU Nationals

22nd January 2019

Greg Hands (MP for Chelsea and Fulham):  It is possible to welcome yesterday’s announcement of the waiving of the settled status fee, which has gone down very well with EU nationals across the UK, including in Chelsea and Fulham, where I have 11,000 EU nationals. Could my right hon. Friend say something about improving and boosting our efforts in Germany? We currently have only three diplomatic missions in Germany. France has seven; Italy has 11. Our future relationship with Germany will be crucial. We have no representation. We have a very good honorary consul in Frankfurt, but it seems that for the European Central Bank, we need more representation in Frankfurt and Hamburg in particular.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: I defer to my right hon. Friend’s knowledge of Germany, which is second to none. I would like to reassure him that over the past three years we have had, on average, about one Government Minister visiting Germany every single week, so we do give it the highest priority in our foreign relations, and will continue to do so post Brexit. However, I will look into the issue of consulates that my right hon. Friend raises.