EU Workers To Be Denied Preferential Treatment (UK)

The UK Government has decided in principle to follow the recommendation of the Migration Advisory Committee and deny EU workers preferential treatment to treat EU nationals the same as every other national after Brexit.   Although this decision is not binding in the long term, it indicates that the government is prepared to follow the MAC’s recommendations regardless of the potential impact on negotiations with the EU.

The MAC had earlier confirmed that European Migration is not detrimental for the UK, but is no more beneficial than travel from the rest of the world.  According to their research, there’s no justification for treating EU migrants differently.  Rather, they recommended that the current Tier 2 work permit routes be opened up to include Europeans, that the monthly visa cap be removed and that the minimum salary for qualification be set at £30,000.

It is yet to be seen what the European Union’s reaction might be to this UK position and how it might impact the Brexit negotiations, particularly the fate of the many Britons currently living within the European Union.

The BBC’s reporting of this story can be found here.

Brexit – EU Low Skilled Migration May Be Impacted

The UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended that the UK treats EU migrants the same as non-EU post Brexit, assuming immigration is not a part of any final Brexit deal with the European Union.   The MAC’s recommendation is that existing Tier 2 visa rules be applied globally, and that the minimum salary requirement be placed at £30,000.  The committee advised that migration from the EU is not overall of significant benefit or detriment to the UK, and that the real benefit lies in the migration of highly skilled workers, whether they come from the EU or not.  So, in the absence of any hindering reciprocal agreement with Europe, the MAC’s academic position is that low skilled migration from Europe should be curbed, free movement between the UK and Europe ended, and all people from all nationalities be required to apply for work permits if they would wish to live and work in the UK.

It is however widely believed that immigration will be a key part of any final Brexit Deal, and so the UK Government might find it difficult to implement the MAC’s recommendations.

The full committee report can be found here.

UK – Kweku Adoboli Fights Deportation to Ghana

Kweku Adoboli, the British-based Ghanaian who was responsible for the biggest fraud ever recorded in the UK is fighting deportation from the UK to the country of his birth, Ghana.  Under the UK’s rules, a non-citizen who has been sentenced to prison for more than 4 years must be deported, in the absence of any compelling circumstances.  Kweku’s sentence was 7 years, of which he served half.  The sorts of circumstances that would be considered compelling would be strong family connections or job ties in the UK.  Kweku does not meet these criteria, as his current relationship is new and has not been allowed to work for money under the terms of his early release from prison.  However, he has been involved in charity work, attempting to educate leaders and others in the community to learn from his mistakes.

This case demonstrates the potential consequences to a migrant of not obtaining citizenship in their chosen country of residence at the earliest opportunity.  Kweku Adoboli was eligible to apply for citizenship, having lived in the UK for 26 years, but he kept putting if off because of his hectic travel schedule for work.  Consequently, he is still considered a foreigner and eligible for deportation to Ghana.  He has reportedly not lived in Ghana since he was 4 years old, and has been in the UK since he was 12.

A petition to prevent Kweku’s deportation has been backed by over 100 UK Members of Parliament (MPs).  However, barring a last-minute intervention, it is unlikely to help, as reports indicate that the Home Office has booked Mr. Adoboli’s flight to depart the UK on the 18th of September.

The Guardian’s reporting on this story can be found here.

UK – Immigration Rules Double in Length

It has been reported that the UK immigration rules have changed so frequently since 2010 that they have essentially doubled in length.  Successive Home Secretaries in that time have tried to push forward the Government’s attempt to promote certainty of immigration outcomes by restricting appeal rights and wording the rules more precisely.  However it would appear that the net result of all the changes has been to make the immigration rules less transparent and more confusing even to lawyers and judges.    There have even been reports of poorly drafted rules having to be amended shortly after publication.  More applicants have had to resort to lawyers for their visa applications, as it becomes harder and harder to navigate the rules independently.

A review and simplification of the UK immigration rules is overdue; not of course to make yet more changes and further complicate the situation, but to take a good hard look at what the rules have become, so that comprehensive changes can be made to help them achieve the aim of certainty without the unfortunate side effect of excessive complexity.

The former UK home secretary Amber Rudd referred the rules to the Law Commission in December 2017, and they are currently thought to be working on simplifying the rules.

The Guardian’s reporting of this story can be found here.