[Bambos Charalambous: ... In the largest survey to date on EU citizens’ experience of the EU settlement scheme, carried out by the3million, 89% expressed unhappiness about the lack of physical proof. Simple physical proof would provide citizens with definitive reassurance and provide instant recognition of settled status, meaning that people could continue to live in the country seamlessly following the transition period.
Matt Rodda: Does my hon. Friend agree that having physical proof is deeply reassuring to many older people in particular, some of whom might not be familiar with IT and might feel that an IT-based system alone does not give them the security they so want?
Bambos Charalambous: My hon. Friend is exactly right. Many people have been confused about what status they have because of the emails they have received.]
Dr Julian Lewis: I warmly endorse the last intervention the hon. Gentleman took. Governments of all stripes surely have enough experience of digital disasters to know that people need to have something tangible on which they can rely if they request it and if they feel insufficiently confident that a digital system guarantees that they can prove their status.
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[Stuart C. McDonald: ... Finally, let me close by discussing Lords amendment 5 and paying tribute to those in the3million campaign group for their perseverance, even when it seems that the Government do not listen. Now their modest ask is that they are not used in the Home Office’s moves to go digital; they are simply asking that, like everybody else, they are provided with the physical means of proving their status here. The Minister referred to the example of Australia, but it spent five to 10 years trialling that system with a physical document as back-up. This is first about technology: the fact that someone’s legal status and rights can be verified only by a Home Office system, and all the risks inherent in that.]
Dr Lewis: In support of what the hon. Gentleman is saying, let me say that it is not that millions of these documents would have to be issued; they would be issued only to people who felt the need to request them.
[Stuart C. McDonald: Absolutely, and it would be the perfect trial of the Home Office system; if it really works as the Home Office anticipates, there will not be a demand for it. If the Home Office has confidence in the system, it should have nothing to fear from this. [