Brexit and the Future of Family Reunion Rights

Screenshot 2018-03-22 10.45.44A new draft for the withdrawal agreement published by the Brexit negotiators on 19 March presents its part on citizens’ rights, as ‘agreed at negotiators’ level’. Polly Polak explores how this would change current rights to family reunion, for EU citizens living in the UK and for UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU.

The number of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in other Member States is hard to gage, but it is generally estimated that there are approximately 3.7 million EU citizens living in the UK, and 1.3 million people born in the UK living in other EU countries. These citizens and their families will be directly affected by Brexit for the simple reason that their right to reside in their host states currently stems from EU law, and will no longer apply after Brexit. Continue reading

Migration, border security and the EU referendum

The Leave caBrexit-migrationmpaign argues Brexit would give Britain back its control over immigration. Even if that were true, the current situation suggests control best comes through cooperation, says Conservative MP Damian Green. This piece is part of the UCL European Institute’s commissioning partnership with openDemocracy.

Migration is one of the most emotive topics in the debate on Britain’s membership of the European Union. For those who favour leaving, the UK’s membership has become synonymous with uncontrolled migration. They believe that only by leaving the EU would the UK be able to restore control over its borders and reduce migration. As a result immigration is assumed to be one of the stronger cards held by the Leave camp. I think their analysis is simplistic and wrong, and that the weight of the argument for those worried about levels of immigration is in favour of remaining in the EU and using it to increase our ability to cope with immigration. Continue reading

Who will offer a winning vision of immigration after the referendum?

immigrationSteven Ballinger, Director of Communications for British Future, says Brexit campaigners have yet to offer credible visions on immigration that address voters concerns while also acknowledging certain realities. Whichever side does so will greatly improve their chances in June. This piece is part of the UCL European Institute’s commissioning partnership with openDemocracy.

Immigration is not the only issue in the EU referendum – it is not even the top issue for most voters, according to ICM research for British Future’s recent publication How (not) to talk about Europe. But it is still probably fair to say that the main reason we are having a referendum on Britain’s EU membership is, in a word, immigration. The issue remains more salient and more important to the public than the EU itself. Ask most people to describe how the EU affects them and the issues of free movement and immigration are those most likely to come up. Continue reading

Migration: it’s why the British people will vote for Brexit

6100540512_c79af9bf90_zSteven Woolfe, UKIP Member of the European Parliament, argues that uncontrolled EU migration costs Britain financially and increases the strain on public services, resulting in a lower quality of life for many Britons and a less generous nation. This piece is part of the UCL European Institute’s commissioning partnership with openDemocracy.

Migration is a critical issue in the UK’s EU referendum debate. We’ve seen poll after poll which shows that it rates top in voters’ current concerns. The European Union has ignored these concerns year after year, and the result has been larger numbers of people who want to take back control of UK borders and move to a fairer, non-discriminatory immigration policy unlike the one we see currently being forced upon the UK by EU treaties.

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Britain benefits from free movement

Voters often cofree-movementnfuse internal and external EU migration, mistakenly assuming that a Brexit would better prevent non-EU nationals from ‘sneaking in’. Hugo Dixon, Chairman and Editor-in-chief of InFacts.org, thinks it won’t. This piece is part of the UCL European Institute’s second guest editor week on openDemocracy.

The Treaty of Rome, which set up the forerunner to the EU, enshrined what are known as the ‘four freedoms’: free movement of goods, services, capital and people. This is one of the most important charters for freedom the world has ever seen. In Britain, there is little controversy over the first three freedoms. But free movement of people is the subject of heated debate. If Britain ultimately votes to quit the EU, a desire to curb immigration will probably be the main reason.

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