Considering the tone of the political rhetoric in the last few months, the positions of the main parties on the topic of free movement of EU citizens seem less salient that one would have expected.
EU citizens or ‘EU migrants’?
It is worth stating from the outset that when we discuss free movement of people inside the European Union (EU) we are not referring to migration from a legal point in view. Indeed, the term ‘EU migrants’ often used by the media may define a sociological reality (an individual crossing a border between two countries with the intention to reside in the host -country) but it is legally incorrect. EU citizens (the nationals of any of the 28 Member States) have an individual and fundamental right to move and reside anywhere in the EU provided that they are working or self-employed or, if not performing an economic activity, that they have sufficient resources and medical insurance. This freedom is exercised by both the approximately 2.3 million EU nationals residing in the UK, as well as by the circa 2 million British nationals who reside in the other 27 Member States.