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Europe – Endless??

Europe…endless…so sang German synth pioneers Kraftwerk. For the UK, however, membership of the European Union may not be as long lived. We’re sure you cannot failed to have noticed that on 23rd June this year the question will be asked – “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”. The result of the referendum will determine, for the next generation at least, the relationship between the UK and its European neighbours.

Already questions have been raised as to whether David Cameron’s deal is legally binding or not (probably yes) and if a second referendum could take place in the event of a vote to leave (probably not). There is also contention about who can & cannot vote, with some arguing that all EU citizens resident in the UK should be able to vote. As it stands only Irish, Maltese and Cypriot nationals living in the UK will be able to vote alongside their British and Commonwealth neighbours, whereas UK nationals who have lived abroad for up to 15 years will still be able to vote.

These arguments are sure to continue and become more contentious over the next four months. In the meantime, however, life carries on and decisions affecting immigration matters continue to be made by the Home Office and in the law courts.

This week , for instance, the Supreme Court is hearing the case of R (on the application of MM (Lebanon)) (AP) v Secretary of State for the Home Department.This case will determine whether the new Minimum Income Requirement in the Immigration Rules for non-EEA spouses and partners unlawfully breaches Article 8 of the ECHR, the Right to Respect for Private & Family Life.

The case of Myrtle Cothill, a 92 year South African national faced with deportation from the UK, has also caught the public interest. Myrtle arrived in the UK on a visitor visa and her application to remain in the UK with her only daughter, a UK national and resident, was turned down by the Home Office. She was due to be deported on Tuesday, but following a public outcry this decision was suspended to allow her legal team to submit further evidence about her dependency, both emotional and physical, on her daughter.

Both of these cases show that interpretation of the Immigration Rules is fluid and that keeping up to date with case law is vital. HJT Training regularly runs update courses on both Immigration and EU Law. For further details click here.

25th February 2016

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