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New regulations to wipe free movement from the statute book


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I look forward to reading this out on the next podcast: the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Act 2020 (Consequential, Saving, Transitional and Transitory Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 1309).

These new regulations follow hard on the heels of the Immigration Act 2020. Where that Act provides for the high-level repeal of EU free movement laws, these regulations make dozens of changes to the plumbing of the immigration system to bring EU migrants fully within its scope. (But they should not affect existing residents with EU Settlement Scheme status, nor Irish citizens full stop.)

For example, there are various amendments to the laws on getting married in the UK as a foreign national and on sham marriage investigations. Like non-EU citizens today, EU citizens will in future have to give notice at a Register Office if they wish to get married in the UK (even to a British citizen). But as the explanatory memo explains, “Irish citizens and individuals with status under the EUSS (or who have a pending application under the EUSS submitted by the deadline of 30 June 2021) will continue to be exempt”. The change will nonetheless cost the Church of England up to £1.9 million over ten years in lost fees from Reading of the Banns, an alternative to Register Office notification that will now be closed to many Anglican couples.

We hope to bring you more detailed analysis of the regulations soon, but practitioners will really need to read them in full.

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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.