A leaked document on Britain’s post-Brexit immigration policy has revealed how leaving the European Union will weaken the rights of families to reunite in the UK.
Under current EU policy, EU nationals are largely permitted to bring family members to live with them in the UK – but it’s set to all change when the UK leaves in 2019.
Instead, the leaked Home Office document states that withdrawing from the European court of justice will mean that European case law is no longer binding for those who come to Britain after Brexit.
In turn, this means that the nationals will not follow in the footsteps of significant cases where EU nationals are given “rights to enter and remain the UK which they would not otherwise have.”
In 1992, Surinder Singh notably secured his wife’s residence in the UK after he moved her from India to an EU member state, to allow her to take advantage of EU free movement.
But it seems that Brexit will stop this, as Home Office officials claim they “will no longer apply the EU definition of ‘extended’ family members where there is virtually no limit on the distance of the relationship between the EU citizen and the extended family member, as long as they provide valid proof of the relationship between them”.
The document, which was leaked by The Guardian, also revealed that Britain will end the free movement of labour immediately after Brexit and introduce measures to drive down the number of lower-skilled EU migrants, a leaked government document published by the Guardian newspaper said on Tuesday.
At present, the UK is locked in Brexit negotiations with the EU, although chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier claimed last week that no concrete progress had been made on key issues.