Chef's petition to prevent EU citizens from having to apply for settled status gets 14,000 signatures

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

A petition launched by the chef owner of House of Feasts, Damian Wawrzyniak to prevent EU citizens from having to apply for a settled status to live in the UK after Brexit has reached 14,000 signatures 

The chef  originally thought Brexit would help UK restaurants source better local ingredients, but changed his mind when he realised what impact it would have on both EU citizens and the British economy.

The EU Settlement Scheme is a piece of legislation to be introduced after the Brexit deadline, whereby EU citizens living in the UK will have to apply to remain in the country - and could be denied their settled status.

It will affect more than three million people across the UK and is expected to hit the hospitality sector, which is already struggling to employ enough staff,  hard.

Now that the petition has passed the 10,000 mark, the UK government has two days to respond to Damian's plea. If it were to reach 100,000 signatures,  it would have to debate the motion in Parliament. 

In a Twitter post last week, the Polish chef cited cost control and workforce management software Fourth,whose recent study claimed that almost forty percent of the UK's hospitality staff is made up of EU citizens.

"Most of them probably consider the UK their home as I do," he said. 

"Changing the wording from application to registration means a lot to all of us. Thank you so much for your continued support. I hope we'll reach 10,000 signatures by the end of this week and 100,000 by the end of May." 

In an interview with The Guardian, he said: “When the scheme went live, I said to myself: ‘I’ve been here for 15 years, working, running businesses and employing people, so why should I have to apply to stay in my own home?’”


The chef owner of House of Feasts in Peterborough has received a constant stream of messages of support on Twitter and Instagram, and has been backed by prominent figures including Tottenham MP David Lammy and chef Nigel Slater.

One respondent called the Government action "shameful," while another remarked that when the legislation was proposed by Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister promised a registration scheme. 

What do you think chefs? Should EU hospitality workers living in the UK should apply for a settled status in order to stay after Brexit? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 15th May 2019

Chef's petition to prevent EU citizens from having to apply for settled status gets 14,000 signatures