EU nationals across north and west Cumbria have been urged to apply for settled status – with just weeks left until the deadline.

Thousands of EU nationals have been granted permission to remain in the north and west Cumbria.

In total, 5,480 people successfully applied to the EU settlement scheme across Copeland, Allerdale and Carlisle, according to Home Office figures.

However, a research hub at York University warns that many people across the UK will miss the fast-approaching post-Brexit “cliff-edge” and risk becoming illegal migrants overnight.

Professor Charlotte O’Brien of York University said: “The universal rule of deadlines is that people will miss them.

“Those who miss the deadline will become, overnight, unauthorised or illegal migrants, subject to a hostile environment and possible removal.

“It means they will go from being lawful, in many cases long-term and economically contributing EU citizens, to people who cannot lawfully work, rent, or even drive a car.”

The UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016 and after more than four years of negotiations, the Brexit transition period ended on October 31 with the UK leaving the single market and customs union.

EU citizens who have lived in the UK for at least five years, and meet certain criteria, can receive settled status and remain in the country indefinitely if they apply by June 30.

Those who have lived in the country for less time can obtain pre-settled status, and the chance to reapply for settled status once they have done so for five years.

In Carlisle, the highest number of applications were submitted by people from Poland (1,890), followed by those from Romania (830) and Bulgaria (300).

In Allerdale the highest number of applicants were people from Poland (340), followed by those from Romania (210) and Hungary (110).

In Copeland it was people from Poland (110), followed by those from Romania (60) and Bulgaria, Germany, Italy and Lithuania (30).

Across the UK, 385,000 people applied to the EUSS between January and March – down from 855,000 in the three months to December, and 713,000 during the first three months of last year.