Ukip and Conservative MEPs have shown a furious reaction to a ruling by the court which permitted a woman from Colombia who has British family to enter the UK with no visa.
Patricia McCarthy Rodriguez is permitted to now regularly visit the UK – where her children and husband are nationals – without making any visa application which usually take several weeks to be approved.
The ruling from the European court of Justice has now probably opened the borders of Britain to many people who are not within the EU who could visit the UK without applying for visas.
McCarthy Rodriguez lives in Spain with her British family is a citizen of Colombia.
She stated that she should be permitted to visit the UK with her spouse Sean McCarthy and their kids without the need to apply for a visa, due to the fact that she already possess an EU Residence Card which the Spanish government issued.
Before now the government of Britain requested that Mrs. McCarthy obtained a family visa twice every year in order to visit the UK, which means that she had to travel from the home of the family in Marbella to the Madrid embassy of Britain in order to get fingerprinted and complete application forms for every trip.
Lawyers stated that the process could take as long as a few weeks, or even months.
The Luxembourg court’s ruling was in the favour of the family in which the requirement for a visa was waived.
But the decision elicited outrage by the Ukip and Conservative MEPs.
Timothy Kirkhope Tory MEP home fairs and justice spokesman stated that Britain will continue to remain the best placed for dealing and deciding on its needs for immigration – not a Luxembourg based judge.
He stated that the country should possess a system which was sufficiently robust and capable of preventing abuse and possessing flexibility for assessing every case on its situation. Additionally, the country needed a system of visa which was not controlled by the EU but rather by the UK.
The McCarthys daughters are two in number and both are citizens of Britain.
The action was taken against the government of the UK by the McCarthys under the EU’s freedom of movement rules, in an argument that Mrs. McCarthy must not need to make an application for visa anytime she desired to travel.
The ruling could probably open the borders of Britain to a huge number of nationals who are non-EU who reside with citizens of the EU who exercise their rights of freedom of movement within the continent.
Steven Woolfe the immigration spokesman and Ukip MEP stated that the ruling of the ECJ was another setback against the power of the UK in regards to border control.
He stated that even though the system of permits is open wide to fraud and abuse, Britain is now forced to make recognition of permits of residency issued by member states of the EU.
He went further to state that the ruling was an extension to millions of individuals of the popular right to free movement from all over the world who do not possess nationality of any EU country. In his view, this was additional evidence that Britain can never retain control of its borders for as long as it was still a member of the EU.
He stated that the ruling made David Cameron’s claims that he could put immigration under control while belonging to the EU to be absurd.
In his view, just like every other institution of the EU, the ECJ had resolved that Britain would never regain control of its boundaries and borders. That is a principle that is non-negotiable in the treaties of the Europeans. Cameron would be dishonest or naïve or both to pretend differently.
Mr. McCarthy expressed he was overjoyed at the Luxembourg news because his family had for five years battled for fair treatment and dignity by the United Kingdom.
In his opinion, he was a national of Britain whose expectation was that his country would play the rules, and now the UK has been forced by the court to respect European and British citizen’s rights to free movement.
Dominic Grieve Conservative MP when he served as attorney general made attempts to argue that the UK possessed entitlement to invoke the regime of visa to reduce worries about other member states of the EU’s residence cards, because many allegedly could not measure up to the standards on international security and were susceptible to abuse.
But UK laws require that an individual obtains an entry permit prior to visiting the UK even where those in the authority decide that the members of the family of a citizen of the EU could be involved in fraud or rights abuse.
Judges of the ECJ stated that the fact that a member country is facing large numbers of cases of fraud or rights abuse which were committed by non-EU citizens – as claimed by the United Kingdom – was no justification a measure that would completely exclude members of the family of citizens of the EU.
The judges stated that the United Kingdom was capable of making assessment of documentation for signs of abuse or fraud at their borders and if there was proof of fraud they can make exclusions of an individual.
But they stated that the United Kingdom had no permission to determine the entry conditions of individuals who have entry rights under laws of the EU or to make impositions on them of additional conditions or other conditions except for those that are covered by the laws of the EU.
A spokesman of the government stated that the case’s judgment was a disappointment to the UK. It was appropriate tackle the abuse of rights for free movement and fraud.
He stated that it would not be proper to make further comments at this time because the case was going to still come for a final judgment in the High Court of the UK.
The ruling of the ECJ is binding on Britain.
Rules on free movement have been central in the debate on British immigration and whether the nation was going to continue being a European Union member.
In October a promise on tighter new restrictions which would stem the flux of citizens of the EU into Britain was made by David Cameron. It comprised a discontinuation on migrants of the EU making claims for welfare in the first 96 months of their arrival into the country.
The Prime Minister however instead that he was not out-ruling anything if the demands of Britain were not listened to, and warned that reforms on welfare will be a requirement that was absolute for the renegotiation that would be holding before his planned EU membership referendum.