Brexit and the Treatment of EU Citizens by the UK Home Office

CEPS Policy Insights, No 2017-33/September 2017; ISBN 978-94-6138-636-6

9 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2017

See all articles by Elspeth Guild

Elspeth Guild

Radboud University Nijmegen - Faculty of Law; Kingsley Napley - Department of Immigration; The British Institute of International and Comparative Law; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: September 4, 2017

Abstract

Given the acute sensitivity in the Brexit negotiations of the status of EU citizens living in the UK, it is essential that all parties at the table sing from the same song sheet.

While the British Government is seeking to negotiate a good deal for British citizens in the EU-27 and, on the basis of reciprocity, an acceptable deal for EU27 citizens in the UK, the Home Office is busy undermining good faith and trust in the process. Four specific actions by the Home Office reveal this lack of good faith:

The Home Office has been sending out letters to EU citizens in the UK threatening them with detention and expulsion irrespective of their status.

The Home Office continues to create mind-boggling administrative obstacles to prevent EU-27 nationals from applying for documents proving their immigration status in the UK.

The Home Office has reinterpreted national law on citizenship to hinder EU-27 citizens from naturalising or registering as British citizens.

The Home Office, with the blessing of the UK courts (so far at least), has determined that genuine relationships and marriages between EU-27 citizens and third-country nationals can nevertheless be classified as marriages or relationships of convenience and thus be treated under national law alone, which condones immediate expulsion with the possibility of an appeal only after the fact.

The status of EU citizens is among the most sensitive issues in the negotiations and a priority to be resolved before the trade discussions begin. It is essential for all parties to take great care to ensure that all the actors on their side of the table are singing from the same song sheet.

Keywords: EU citizens in the UK, status of EU citizens, UK, Brexit

Suggested Citation

Guild, Elspeth, Brexit and the Treatment of EU Citizens by the UK Home Office (September 4, 2017). CEPS Policy Insights, No 2017-33/September 2017; ISBN 978-94-6138-636-6 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3053812

Elspeth Guild (Contact Author)

Radboud University Nijmegen - Faculty of Law ( email )

Postbus 9049
6500 KK Nijmegen
Netherlands
024-3611357 (Phone)
024-3611423 (Fax)

Kingsley Napley - Department of Immigration ( email )

Knight's Quarter
14 St. John's Lane
London EC1M 4AJ
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7814 1200 (Phone)
+44 (0)20 7490 2288 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kingsleynapley.co.uk/our-people/the-partners/elspeth-guild.htm

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law ( email )

Charles Clore House
17 Russell Square
London WC1B 5JP
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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