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Low-wage EU migrants will be told they can’t bring their families to the UK

Relatives will be forced to pass tough immigration tests once Britain leaves the EU

EU citizens wanting to bring close family to the UK after Brexit will be forced to pass tough immigration tests, Theresa May revealed yesterday.

Rules on bringing in spouses, children and parents would be tightened up once Britain quits the bloc, she said.

But she sought to reassure EU nationals living here by saying no families would be broken up when ties are cut with Brussels.

In a measure which could cause extra friction with the EU, if relatives arrive after Britain’s departure there will be strict curbs.

A Briton must earn more than £18,600 before a husband or wife from outside Europe can join them and the incomer must also pass an English language test. The Prime Minister announced the measures during a statement on the Government’s proposals for EU citizens after Brexit.

She said EU citizens who have lived in the UK lawfully for at least five years will be granted ‘settled status’ – giving them full access to schools, hospitals, pensions and benefits.

This could be transferred into citizenship at a later date. Those who have been resident for a shorter period they will be allowed to stay on until they have reached the five-year threshold.

However, there will be a ‘cut-off date’ after which EU nationals who come to Britain will no longer automatically get these rights.

Mrs May said: ‘No families will be split up. Family dependants who join a qualifying EU citizen here before the UK’s exit will be able to apply for settled status after five years. After the UK has left, EU citizens with settled status will be able to bring family members from overseas on the same terms as British nationals.’

The £18,600 minimum income threshold for Britons who want to bring in a spouse from outside the European Economic Area rises to £22,400 if the couple have a child who does not have British citizenship – and then by an additional £2,400 for each subsequent child.

Mrs May made clear that the ‘fair and serious’ proposals would be adopted only if the same rights are guaranteed to UK citizens living in the other 27 EU states.

She said the cut-off date had yet to be decided but would be no earlier than when Article 50 was triggered in March this year or later than when Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.

All EU residents who qualify for settled status must apply to the Home Office – and will be breaking the law if they do not.

They will be given residence documents to demonstrate to employers, doctors, teachers and other service providers that they are allowed to be in the UK.

The Home Office said it wanted to avoid a ‘cliff edge’ in applications the day after Brexit and EU citizens will have a ‘grace period’ of two years to settle their future status.

Mrs May also promised the immigration system will be streamlined.

EU nationals who have applied for permanent residence status documents since the referendum – thought to number more than 150,000 – will be asked to apply again, paying another £65 fee.

The paper stresses the Government’s determination that the continuing rights of EU nationals in the UK should be enforceable through the British courts and not the European Court of Justice as the European Commission is demanding.

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said the proposals needed to show ‘more ambition, clarity and guarantees’. EU nationals already here will be able to continue sending £30million a year child benefit home.

David Davis last night said Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will have to approve Brexit legislation before it can become law.

The Brexit Secretary said gaining their support was ‘crucial’ for a ‘smooth and orderly’ departure.

Fonte: Daily Mail


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