All Articles: Brexit
Do you need to worry about Brexit if you have indefinite leave to remain?
An EU citizen with indefinite leave to remain in this country has taken the drastic step to leave the UK because of Brexit. You might have seen the story on Twitter, where it went viral. 24/ So my mum has taken the decision to return to the country of ...11th April 2018
Brexit, one year on
The momentous decision to begin Brexit in March 2017 was announced the previous October, when Theresa May made her first speech as Prime Minister to the Conservative Party conference. For all the impressions of chaos in between — including the s ...29th March 2018
Brexit: settled status and citizens’ rights – what has been agreed?
On 19 March the European Union and the UK published the impressively named Draft Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. In other words, ...26th March 2018
Court of Session case on blocking Brexit goes to full hearing
Campaigners seeking to confirm whether the UK’s Article 50 notification triggering Brexit can be unilaterally revoked are one step closer to getting a decision from the Court of Justice of the European Union. Yesterday the Inner House of the Co ...21st March 2018
What does the EU’s draft Brexit agreement say about citizens’ rights?
The European Commission has published a draft legal text for a Brexit “Withdrawal Agreement”. It includes the all-important issue of citizens’ rights for EU nationals already living in the UK or arriving here before Brexit is finalis ...28th February 2018
Just how level do we want the Brexit playing field to be?
Seasoned Brexit watchers will be familiar by now with the trope that there is a “need for a level playing field”. Coined by the EU out of concern that the UK may turn itself into a tax haven, the phrase has now been appropriated by Brexiteers in t ...21st February 2018
The rights of EU nationals in the UK post-Brexit – five pessimistic predictions
The UK government’s policy paper on EU citizens’ rights in the UK after Brexit, released in June 2017, offered reassurances about “safeguarding” rights, while leaving substantial question marks hanging — in particular about what ...19th February 2018
MPs’ report scathing on Home Office capacity to cope with Brexit
The Home Affairs Committee of MPs today published its report on whether or not the Home Office has the capacity to deliver effective immigration services once the UK leaves the European Union next March. No, is the short answer. Not a lot of love from ...14th February 2018
British migrants trying to keep EU citizenship get Court of Justice hearing
Around 1.3 million British citizens are currently settled in other EU member states, but do not have citizenship of those countries. Just like EU citizens living in the UK, they can do this by relying on free movement rights granted by the EU. Speakin ...8th February 2018
Comprehensive Sickness Insurance: what is it, and who needs it?
If you are an EEA/EU citizen or their family member and wish to qualify for an EU law right of residence, then eventually a right of permanent residence, you have to meet certain requirements. For some people – chiefly those not working or self- ...29th January 2018
How to apply for “settled status” and “temporary status”: a guessing game
On 8 December the British government reached an agreement with the EU which gives some more clarity about the status of EU nationals following Brexit. The agreement so far is limited to EU nationals who arrive in the UK before the “specified date” ...5th January 2018
The impact of Brexit on UK asylum law: part three
The refugee definition Engagement of the CJEU with asylum issues Since the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union was expanded to include asylum matters, we have a fairly steady rise in the number of judgments on these issues. Most ...29th December 2017
The impact of Brexit on UK asylum law: part two
Selective participation in CEAS Participation in the Common European Asylum System is not necessarily “all or nothing”, nor does it absolutely require membership of the EU. Even within the EU, involvement in CEAS is also selective in some cases. H ...28th December 2017
The impact of Brexit on UK asylum law: part one
The issue of asylum and the refugee crisis in Europe played a very significant part in the debate on Britain’s continuing membership of the European Union in the run up to the Brexit referendum in June 2016. Many commentators consider that the issue ...27th December 2017
How many EU citizens will be criminalised by Brexit?
Some EU citizens now living in the UK will find themselves committing criminal offences after Brexit. That much is certain. How many people exactly will become unlawfully resident is probably impossible to calculate, and here at Free Movement we do no ...13th December 2017
Government publishes details on settled status for EU citizens
The government has put a little flesh on its promise that EU citizens living in the UK will be able to apply for settled status in a way that is “new”, “streamlined” and “low cost”. A “technical note” ...7th November 2017
Could Catalan separatists qualify for refugee status in the UK?
Carles Puigdemont, erstwhile President de la Generalitat de Catalunya, fled Spain to Belgium this week following his parliament’s unilateral declaration of independence for Catalonia. Several of his ministers followed him into exile. A European ...3rd November 2017
Theresa May’s open letter: what she said and what she meant
As I travel to Brussels today, I know that many people will be looking to us – the leaders of the 28 nations in the European Union – to demonstrate we are putting people first. I have a firm grasp of the technical detail. I have been clear th ...19th October 2017
FOI response: waiting times for permanent residence certificates triple
Eight months and a warning from the Information Commissioner later, the Home Office has finally replied to my Freedom of Information request on waiting times for EU residence documents. The figures only go to the end of 2016 and it seems likely that w ...18th October 2017
Home Office in breach of law over permanent residence waiting times
The Home Office has broken the law by failing to publish the waiting times faced by EU citizens trying to get residence documents. The Information Commissioner ruled that Amber Rudd’s department is in breach of the Freedom of Information Act, ha ...2nd October 2017
Citizens’ rights: update after fourth round of Brexit negotiations
The fourth round of Brexit negotiations are over, with some signs of progress on the future status of EU citizens living in the UK. At the end of August, the EU-UK joint comparison of negotiating positions on citizens’ rights showed some 30 iss ...28th September 2017
What does Theresa May’s Florence speech mean for EU citizens?
Theresa May exercised her free movement rights with a trip to Florence on Friday to deliver a much-anticipated speech on Brexit. Conciliatory in tone and significant on the question of the ‘divorce bill’, the Prime Minister’s commen ...26th September 2017
Leaked immigration document suggests huge rise in European criminal deportation after Brexit
The recently leaked government immigration proposals indicate that European nationals who commit crime in the UK will be subject to the same automatic deportation rules as non-European nationals after Brexit. The UK Borders Act 2007 imposes a legal du ...13th September 2017
Leaked immigration plans suggest Thelma & Louise Brexit for UK
Forget “hard Brexit” and “soft Brexit”. The leaked proposals for a post-Brexit immigration system suggest the pedal is already to the metal for full Thelma & Louise Brexit. The Brexit to-do list is the length of a constantl ...6th September 2017
Home Office inspectors release series of reports: highlights for lawyers
For some reason the Home Office has just released a swathe of inspection reports into a wide range of Home Office operations. In practical terms, this makes it impossible for the press to pick out more than one or two stories from the reports and it t ...14th July 2017
What does the Queen’s Speech say (and not say) about immigration and EU citizens?
The Queen’s Speech was today. This sets out the legislative agenda for the new Government and lists expected new Acts of Parliament the Government hopes to pass in the coming year. There are reports that this Queen’s Speech may be intended ...21st June 2017
Alternative options for EU partners: making an application under Appendix FM
Now that the election manifestos have been officially published we have an indication what Labour and Conservative have planned for EU nationals living in Britain. While the Labour manifesto confirmed a pledge to immediately guarantee existing rights ...31st May 2017
Why the UK and EU cannot easily agree on EU citizens’ rights: UK vs EU law
Theresa May refused to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK but did at least assure them that their situation would be a early negotiating priority. That perhaps was not terribly reassuring given that Theresa May also suggested that e ...3rd May 2017
New EEA(PR) application form guidance published
Most Home Office application forms are accompanied with guidance explaining how to make a valid application, and the EEA(PR) application form is no different. While the EEA(PR) form was last updated in March 2016 the guidance accompanying that form ...27th April 2017
Home Office suggests EU nationals sign up for email alerts not apply for residence documents
The Home Office is now advising EU nationals to sign up for Government email alerts rather than applying for residence documents as proof of status. The guidance was issued on 7 April 2017 and is a tacit admission that the Home Office is overwhelmed b ...25th April 2017