European Commission looking into the potential breaches of European law
In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, the European Commission is now looking into the potential breaches of European law by the British government regarding European citizens living in the UK.
As reported recently, detentions and enforced removals of EU citizens from the UK have increased sharply since the Brexit vote. Brussels is now analysing whether the UK may be violating European law by restricting the right of European citizens to move freely around the bloc.
As stated recently by Celia Clarke, Director of Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID): “We’ve been very alarmed by the incredible rise in the numbers of EU nationals being detained and then removed or deported. It’s increased exponentially over the last years”. According to the charity, who is has shared its concerns with the European Commission; many EU nationals were deported before they were even able to submit a legal challenge against their deportation.
Analysis of government data shows that over 5,300 European citizens were removed from the UK during the year ending June 2017, which represents an increase of 20% on the previous year.
BID also made public a letter sent to a Romanian citizen by the Home Office informing him that he should return to Romania or move to another European country to exercise his fundamental rights and “avoid becoming destitute”.
Ms Clarke commented on the letter and warned that “It’s acting as if we’re not a member of the EU, by saying ‘you can go exercise your rights in the EU’. But we are still in the EU”.
The Directorate General for Justice responded on 20 October 2017 by letter which was seen by Euronews, clarifying that while the UK remains a member of the EU, all rights and treaty obligations will continue to apply to it.
The letter also mentioned that European Commission is willing to obtain further evidence of possible breaches of EU rules by the United Kingdom. According to Euronews, a Commission representative corroborated the letter was authentic and added: “We are looking into this issue”.