THE Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland administrations have called on the UK Government to offer EU citizens physical proof of their settled or pre-settled status.

In a joint letter, to Kevin Foster, the UK Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, they said EU citizens who have already secured status had no physical documentation to prove that they have the right to stay in the UK.

This, they said, could potentially cause problems for their employment and access to services.

The ministers voiced their collective concerns over the offer of a digital-only platform for proof of EU citizens’ right to remain.

Scotland’s Europe Minister Jenny Gilruth, Jane Hutt, Wales’ minister for social justice, and Northern Ireland’s first minister Paul Givan and deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill all jointly signed the letter.

It stated that a physical document, to be offered in addition to existing digital proof, would be an additional safeguard to provide re-assurance, help prevent discrimination, and assist employers and other service providers.

The letter said: “We all have an obligation under the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 to ensure that EU citizens are treated fairly.

“All other groups of people who choose to make the UK their home and to contribute to our communities and economy are given physical proof.

“It cannot be right to deny EU citizens the reassurance that is offered to other migrant groups.

“Having two types of proof for two groups will lead at best to confusion and at worst to discrimination.”

It added that they were not calling for digital proof to be abandoned: “We recognise that digital proof has many positive attributes.

“Over time more interactions between the state and citizens will be conducted online.

“We are simply calling for an additional safeguard – not for all EU citizens but only for those who request physical proof.”