E.U. citizens need an Android to use British government’s Brexit app

Robyn Mack/Flickr (CC-BY)

#SettledStatusBorrowMyAndroid is trending online.

The British government is under fire because of a faulty app it’s requiring European citizens to use when applying for a new settlement scheme ahead of the country’s impending exit from the European Union set for the end of March.

In guidelines issued last month, the government explained that all E.U. citizens living the United Kingdom and who wish to stay after Brexit must register by December 2020. Those guidelines explain that this could be done using a dedicated app or by visiting one of 13 dedicated centers across the country.

Sounds simple? Well, not for loyal Apple fans.

Users who could download the app are already complaining about bugs and how slow it is, and it turns out that the app is only available to those with an Android device.

Brits on Twitter shredded the new app to pieces after a thread by freelance journalist Sam Wolfson went viral.

E.U. citizens who only own an iPad or iPhone will need to find a friend with an Android or make their way to a dedicated center to register, which could be hours away and where they’ll be charged £14 ($18.50) to use the government’s devices.

We already mentioned that there are only 13 sites serving the whole nation, didn’t we? Scotland’s only center is located in Edinburgh, and England’s situation isn’t much better.

The app, it turns out, is experiencing lots of technical issues as it fails to recognize passports and identification documentation.

Mostly, though, Twitter users found the dysfunction of the app an appropriate and amusing reflection on how Brexit is going in general.

Still, #settledstatusborrowmyandroid is trending online aimed at connecting E.U. citizens in need with British Android users.

While this is super kind, it’s an identity thief’s dream. One user outlined a handy checklist to help protect everyone using a stranger’s phone to scan and upload their ID documents.

The Daily Dot has reached out to the British Home Office for comment.

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David Gilmour

David Gilmour

David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology. He previously covered civil liberties, crime, and politics for Vice.