issued today by Migration Watch UK reveals that 100,000 dependants
of EU nationals resident in Britain entered the UK in the last five years with
no conditions attached but with full and immediate access to benefits.
government’s reform of the Immigration Rules require British citizens to be
earning £18,600 before they can bring in a spouse from outside the EU so as to
avoid any cost to the taxpayer. However, under EU law, they are
obliged to provide favourable treatment to EU citizens including those who may
never have been resident here prior to moving with their non-EU family.
Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said “This is a loophole that
must be closed and soon. It is absurd that EU citizens should be in
a more favourable position than our own citizens. Furthermore, 20,000 per
year is a very large number to admit unconditionally, especially compared to
the government’s target of tens of thousands for annual net migration.
1 More precisely, this
applies to EEA nationals.
2 Example: French or
Polish citizens living in the UK can marry someone from anywhere in the world
and can bring him or her to the UK even if they do not have a job and cannot
support their spouse whereas a British citizen must now be earning £18,600 a
3 Examples of Abuse – An
Indian national from Goa can obtain Portuguese citizenship if their parents
were Portuguese citizens prior to 1961. They can then move straight to the UK
with their family using an EEA family permit. On arrival they can avail
themselves, immediately, of all the benefits available to UK citizens. There is
anecdotal evidence that this has been happening quite extensively. Many settle
in Swindon, where around 9,000 Goans now live.
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