‘People like us just shouldn’t fall in love’: how British immigration rules are separating fathers from their families

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Melanie Griffiths, University of Bristol and Candice Morgan, University of Bristol

Couples are being subjected to painful separations, uncertainty about their future and financial hardship by the UK’s strict immigration rules, according to our new research.

Between 2014 and 2017, we followed nearly 30 couples where the man had irregular or insecure immigration status in the UK but his partner or children were citizens of Britain or the European Economic Area (EEA). Continue reading

Government must ignore illegal proposals for a pre-Brexit cut-off point limiting the rights of EU nationals in the UK

Dr Albert Sanchez Graells, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Bristol Law School

Dr Albert Sanchez Graells, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Bristol Law School

In its paper of 13 March 2017 on “The Rights of EU Nationals in the UK Post-Brexit”, Migration Watch UK has put forward a range of proposals aimed at clarifying – and limiting – the rights of EU nationals in the UK in the context of Brexit. These proposals are illegal under EU law and the UK Government must ignore them in their process of shaping the UK’s migration policy towards EU nationals as a result of Brexit. This post summarises these proposals and details the reasons why they are illegal under EU law.

The proposals of the Migration Watch UK paper focus on two main categories of EU nationals: first, those that are residing in the UK at the time of triggering Article 50 Treaty of the European Union (TEU) but will not qualify for permanent residence at the time of Brexit (which the paper assumes to be March 2019) (category (a)). Second, those that will continue to arrive to the UK between the moment in which Article 50 TEU is triggered and the moment when Brexit becomes legally effective (category (b)). Even if the paper is not very clear about it, the proposals would also affect the rights of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, as well as those of individuals whose residence and work rights derive from those of an EU/EEA national. For simplicity, though, I will stick to the use of the expression “EU nationals” to cover all of them. Continue reading

Citizenship Exclusion: Canada and the British Example

Dr Devyani Prabhat, Lecturer in Law, School of Law

Dr Devyani Prabhat, Lecturer in Law, School of Law

Earlier I posted on this blog how British citizenship is being increasingly shaped by foreign nationality laws. Foreign nationality laws become relevant in cases where a person is a dual citizen and is about to lose British citizenship.  The common scenario is of national security cases where the government may decide to strip terrorism suspects of their British citizenship.  Until recently, the government had to ensure the person affected had a remaining citizenship.  This was to prevent creating statelessness.  Affected people could challenge the loss of their British citizenship on the ground that they did not have any other citizenship to call their own.  The court would then have to examine foreign nationality laws to determine if this was correct. In my last post I criticised how this exercise often becomes a technical assessment of foreign laws. Substantive rights arguments usually did not come up in these cases despite there being clear implications for right to family life (Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, ECHR) and right to fair trial (Article 6, ECHR).  At that time I did not anticipate the rapid change of law that has made even the technical considerations of statelessness mostly redundant.

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