An interesting ‘news’ story from the BBC earlier this week:
When Keith Vaz, the chair of the Home Affairs Committee, pointed out that British citizens have to earn £18,600 per year before they can bring their spouses in, while EEA nationals have no such requirement to show minimum earnings, James Brokenshire, Minister of State for Immigration at the Home Office, acknowledged the unfairness of this, announcing it to be ‘unacceptable’ and needing ‘to be addressed’.
If you are one of the thousands of people who has been kept apart from their loved ones because of the new financial requirements, however, don’t get your hopes up that this signifies a softening in the government’s position – Mr. Brokenshire appears to regard this as a ‘loophole’ that European nationals are taking advantage of and which he means to close, presumably meaning that everyone, British or European, would have to meet the minimum earnings requirement.
He is quoted as saying that he ‘plans to raise it with Britain’s EU partners’, thereby giving the impression of talking tough while in reality he must surely know that there is no chance at all that any minimum earnings requirement would be accepted by the European Commission, as this would be a clear breach of the right of free movement.
The BBC story is here.