September 20, 2017
EU demands for the future rights of their citizens would create a huge potential loophole in our post-Brexit immigration controls.
This is because they would leave low-earning EU citizens who stay on in Britain more extensive rights to bring in new partners and dependants than those available to similarly-placed British citizens.
These are the conclusions of a paper being issued today by Migration Watch UK in anticipation of the Brexit negotiations which resume on Monday 25th September.
The UK government is offering to secure almost all of the rights that EU nationals (already present in the UK) currently enjoy, including their rights to benefits, housing, pensions and healthcare, enforced by British courts and enshrined in an international treaty.
However, the EU is demanding that EU citizens should retain their rights under EU law, enforced by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and monitored by the Commission.
The main differences lie in the right of access to the UK for future partners and other dependent relatives of those resident here. Currently a British citizen is required to have an income of £18,600 before he or she can bring in a non-EU partner. A larger sum is required if children are involved so that the taxpayer is not unduly subsidising the new arrivals.
Under the EU proposal, EU citizens would continue to be free to bring in a partner or dependant of any nationality without any such restriction. If this EU proposal were to be accepted, the British Government would have no control over the number of partners or other dependants whose future numbers cannot be accurately estimated.
There could be considerable costs in respect of their future health care and pensions. Furthermore, the EU demand that the ECJ should be in charge means that this loophole could well be expanded by future ECJ rulings while the British government could only look on helplessly.
The overall effect would be to establish in the UK a substantial community of EU citizens whose “super rights” to bring in dependants (or people who might become their dependants in the future) would be superior to those of British citizens with resultant burdens on the taxpayer. Since the EU have included the children of their citizens, this situation could continue for many decades.
Commenting, Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch, said: “Granting ‘super rights’ to EU citizens who stay on in Britain would be absolutely absurd. It would drive a coach and horses through our immigration system and could well involve considerable costs to the taxpayer for decades to come. Such an outcome could well become a running sore in our future relationship with EU citizens resident in the UK.”