Brand

Immigration Solicitors London

Est. 2002

+44 (0)20 7038 3980

info@rlegal.com

RLegal Solicitors, 162-168 Regent Street London W1B 5TG

RLegal is regulated by the SRA, Reg No: 00380691

On Monday 14 October 2019 the Queen’s speech announced the Government’s intention to lay down a bill relating to immigration in the forthcoming Parliamentary session.

In the briefing paper to the Queen’s speech, Boris Johnson stated the following:

“Through this Queen’s Speech we will seize the opportunities that Brexit will bring to take back control of our borders, our money and our laws. Once again we will be in charge of our own trading policy and our fishing waters, and we will pave the way for a new points based immigration system.”

The main points are as follows:

  • Bring an end to free movement in UK law, to ensure that the Government can deliver a new points-based immigration system from 2021.

Ending free movement has been the focus of the Conservative Government since the EU referendum in 2016, previously under Theresa May and now Boris Johnson, and therefore comes as no surprise. The shift to a points-based system stems from Boris Johnson in August, although it has been mooted throughout the summer.

Given the UK already has a points-based system through Tiers 1-5 of the immigration rules – namely Part 6A of the Immigration Rules HC 395, this is likely to be expanded throughout the rules.

The relevant parts of the immigration rules which are not subject to a points-based system are Parts 7 (which includes long residence), Part 8 (grandparents and other relatives), Part 11 (asylum) and Annexe FM (partners). It is therefore likely that some, if not all will be changed to a points-based system of assessment.

  • Make EU citizens arriving after January 2021 subject to the same UK immigration controls as non-EU citizens, to enable the Government to deliver a single global immigration system based on people’s skills.    

This is already contained in the Withdrawal Act 2018 and amounts to a restatement of the existing position.

  • Clarify the immigration status of Irish citizens once the free movement migration framework is repealed. This means Irish citizens will generally not require leave to enter or remain in the UK.

The principal is already established through the Immigration Act 1971, so nothing new here.

  • Enable the Government to deliver future changes to social security co-ordination policy.

 This would enable the Government to restrict access to benefits for EU nationals.

  • Confirming the deadline for applications to be made under the EU Settlement Scheme.

 Nothing new other than providing clarity. 

  • Giving EU citizens and their family members who apply a right of appeal against EU Settlement Scheme decisions.

Although a welcome proposal, it is worth noting by the time this becomes law, it is likely that the vast majority of the estimated 3 million EU nationals will have already obtained settled status - according to the same briefing paper, 1.5 million EU nationals have already successfully applied for settled status.

On closer inspection it is apparent that the Queen’s speech in relation to immigration contained little flesh and is largely a re-hash of what is already in the public domain. The main focus seems to be on trumpeting the end of free movement and the establishment of a new points-based system. The new right of appeal for EU citizens refused under the settlement scheme, will provide cold comfort for those who will have been refused by the time this becomes law.

Our team of immigration lawyers can be contacted by completing our online form, by email at info@rlegal.com and by telephone on 020 7038 398