The authorities are putting 2.6 million EU citizens at risk of detention or removal from the nation by the Home Office, the excessive court has heard.
The declaration was made at a judicial evaluation of the Home Office’s implementation of half of the withdrawal settlement guaranteeing the rights of about 6 million EU citizens dwelling within the nation earlier than Brexit.
Mr Justice Lane was advised that the Home Office’s guidelines include a “fundamental feature” which threatens the fitting of an individual to reside, work, retire or get entry to healthcare.
The case is being introduced by the Independent Monitoring Authority, a statutory physique set as much as defend the rights of EU citizens settled within the nation earlier than Brexit.
“The effect of the secretary of state scheme is that that person will automatically lose their rights to reside in the UK, making them an illegal overstayer who is liable to detention or removal,” Robert Palmer KC, for the IMA, advised the court in his opening argument.
The “fundamental feature” solely impacts these citizens who have been within the UK for fewer than 5 years and who have been granted non-permanent residency standing, referred to as pre-settled standing.
Under the federal government’s guidelines, these with this standing are obliged to reapply for everlasting, or settled, standing as soon as their pre-settled standing expires at the top of 5 years.
About 5.8 million EU citizens have been granted standing to stay settled within the UK, however, 2.6 million have been granted “pre-settled status” as a result of they’d been within the nation for fewer than five years.
Any of these 2.6 million who fail to use for what Palmer known as the “upgrade” will robotically be stripped of their employment, social and residency rights below the current guidelines, the court was advised. This is as a result of they then fall below the scope of common immigration legal guidelines.
Palmer advised Lane this was “straightforwardly incompatible with the withdrawal agreement, which does not permit the loss of rights to residency to EU citizens in these circumstances”.
The IMA contends that below the regulation, EU citizens’ rights “do not expire” except they’re misplaced or withdrawn for causes specified by article 15 (3) of the withdrawal agreement.
In its skeleton argument, the IMA contended: “The right of residence is not limited in time, and in particular does not expire after five years (save in the case of extended absence from the UK).
“Automatic withdrawal of the right for a failure to make a further application within five years for a continued right of residence is incompatible with the WA, which makes no such provision.”
The Home Office denies the allegations.
The case continues.