Content based on mailers sent to members. If you wish to receive these direct
into your inbox please email us and ask to be added to the mailing list.

31 July 2014 13:40

Children's Commissioner

We mentioned earlier that we are working with the Office of the Children's Commissioner in
England in their undertaking research to explore the impact of UK's family immigration rules
on children and young people. They have put together a questionnaire - if you have children
especially please take 15 minutes or so and return by 1 September 2014. Thank you in
Link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/235449747/Children-s-Commissioner-Questionnaire

Note guidance provided at the end for instructions on how to return the questionnaire and
other documentation.

MM case

Many have been asking for updates on the MM case. No news yet other than the good side's
lawyers are still waiting for legal aid approval, following which they are going to file their
permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Legal Aid Authority like most government
departments is probably over-worked and under-resourced, hence the delay - so a little more
patience needed. Will let you know as soon as we hear anything more.

Keep an eye out for how things progress with HO's treatment of applications on hold which
they indicated they would begin processing this week - will applicants will be able to appeal
or forced to go down an administrative review instead? Around the corner is the 30 months
since the rules came into force, so let's brace ourselves for HO in their typical fashion
messing up the first probationary period applications too.

Surinder Singh

Members are well-versed in trawling through EU regulations, and interpreting the regulations
the best they can - however now there is some legal comfort available with immigration
barrister and EU specialist Colin Yeo having written an e-book on Surinder Singh, released
this week. It provides a legal oversight of free movement rights and EU regulations,
especially as they apply to using the Surinder Singh route (unsurprising given the title of the
e-book) and an overview of Home Office behaviour. Colin is open to feedback so do contact
him if you have any.

Available in pdf format at http://www.freemovement.org.uk/new-surinder-singh-ebook/

BritCits does not financially benefit from sales of this book so 'promotion' of it is purely
because we think you may find it useful.


18 July 2014 11:30

Munchkins, another eventful week though not as hectic as the last. No further news on MM
other than CoA released an amended judgment with an extra few lines pertaining to take into
account evidence from Sheffield Asian Community Action Group. This evidence was
probably taken into account in the same manner as the MM evidence was.

BC documents available online at www.britcits.com and www.scribd.com/BritCits

Home Affairs Select Committee

The HASC will be meeting with the Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire, Tuesday next
week - at 2:45pm. I asked via FB and twitter what questions you wanted them to ask – for
you to let HASC know or let us know so we can collate these to send to the committee. I have
received some requests which I'll send off this weekend. There should be a live webcast -

The convo with Keith Vaz's assistants will I think amuse you, and given we could all do with
a chuckle, I thought I'd share. I have been chasing Keith for one year for info on his 9 July
2013 pledge for the HASC to take further the findings of the APPG on Migration. One year.
In the last week I have called his office three times, each time being told someone would call
me back. The third time I was told 'sorry the for the delay, Keith is very busy but someone
will call you.'. Well folks, I'm not sitting here twiddling my thumbs either and I conveyed
this to his staff with a further, if they didn't return my call the same day, I would not call them
again. However, I would ask the nearly 1000 members of BC to call and request the same
information - hardly the most efficient use of anyone's resources.

Lo and behold I get a call within the hour! First time I've used you guys as a threat (well,
maybe second) and it has been 100% effective! Apparently Keith was waiting for CoA
judgment to see how to proceed, hence meeting next week to now also cover family
immigration. Feel free to attend if you can, though you won't get the chance to ask any
questions yourself.

Incident at Calais

A recent incident at Calais involved BritCits members, who are very active on Facebook. A
British citizen and his Canadian wife, Jen, went through a 12 hour ordeal when trying to
obtain a code 1A stamp. UK immigration officers appeared clueless regarding the law,
especially since Jen holds an EU Residence Card with the couple having worked in another
member state for over 4 months. Jen's passport was stamped with a refusal even though there
should be no tracked record of an EU citizen or RC holder's movement. The immigration
officers rejected all case law. And did I say they were refused?!

Jen intends to take this further and hold the HO accountable for several breaches of the law.
Even though not strictly required, a lesson to others is that until we have some clarity, it may
be less stressful to first obtain a Family Permit rather than expecting border staff to uphold
the law.


Jen has expressed her thanks to all those who maintained an outstanding 12-hour vigilance
online in support. Through this all Jen retained her sense of humour: "It was mildly amusing
when she [immigration officer] picked up some of my paperwork and was like all bitchy and
said what is this? I said it's the UKBA handbook on code 1a and family permits but I'm sure
you know that. Then I gave her a huge smile. She just went "yes" in the hiss tone voice."

Thank you Kay for so helpfully recording the full thread and the instant refutation of IOs
treatment offered by various lawyers on Twitter, especially solicitor Ajid Miah who
responded to my frantic live tweeting.

Surinder Singh

Jen (once recovered) and I will also be working on creating SS guides for different countries
with a view to assigning 'champions' for each country to act as mentor for new arrivals, first
port of call, collation of tips and organiser of local meet-ups. Please therefore complete this
which will take you less than one minute: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8XPPCLN

Colin Yeo, everyone’s favourite barrister, has written the excellent blog on Surinder Singh
and is hopefully going to be taking it further with an e-book to provide a more detailed legal
view of SS. Lisa very helpfully collated a list of Family Permit application statuses and
Angie has agreed to creating a summary of what she thinks are the most relevant bits of case
law. One or two pages from you on your SS experience would also be VERY useful,
covering any problems you have encountered, your experience with the HO etc. Thanks to
the handful who have already provided this.

Citizens UK

Steve attended a meeting at Citizens UK, who are keen to push the campaign for a lower
income threshold too - though we're not quite in agreement as to the level (and very aware
that a lower threshold is not a solution for all the issues with the rules). Early days yet, but if
we go ahead with working with them on this, will keep you updated.

Back to MM
Mark has written this piece, airing his suspicion on why HO has delayed process of apps on
hold till 28th July. Bear in mind these are his views - we don't know yet but I hope our legal
system does not allow this kind of thug behaviour, even from politicians.

#MMcase trending on twitter, so worth keep an eye on that.

Enjoy our Indian summer if you're in the UK - be glad you'll miss out on the inevitable rain to
come if you're not.


12 July 2014 16:00
The judgment

Having now read through the judgment properly, it reads no better than at a quick glance. I
keep wondering how the arguments/evidence presented by the good side could have been
made better, but given the judgment is virtually devoid of what the MM side did put forward
at the March hearing perhaps it's a moot point.

However, I do note some positives from yesterday - yes scraping the barrel a bit!

1) Maybe just maybe a judgment claiming there is nothing unlawful about the rules is better
than one with a few minor concessions - fighting an extreme decision may be 'easier'.
2) Judges conceded rules aren't perfect, they are ‘voluminous’ and ‘they change with
dizzying frequency.’
3) There might finally be some clarity for those whose applications have been on hold.
4) Free movement / Surinder Singh a clearer option for those who were previously on the
fence - campaign to teach the world to Singh is now centre stage!
5) Awareness that maybe our parliamentary and judiciary systems are not so amazing after
all, so to think twice before criticising the systems in other countries.
6) Lesson to never play poker with judges, given they seemed concerned about the rules at
the hearing which is completely at odds with this judgment.

BC's overview of judgment here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/231039718/MM-and-Ors-Case-
Overview and below answers to some of your recent questions.

What are the MM lawyers going to do?

They have applied for an extension to legal aid with a view to take this to Supreme Court.

There are intentions to expedite MM with possibly a hearing in February combined with
another case on the ELT issue which I know some of you feel strongly about as well, so it's
good to know there's movement coming up on that too (Bibi).

The lawyers overview of the judgment here: http://43templerow.co.uk/court-appeal-rules-

What has the Home Office said?

HO expressed 'delight' at the CoA ruling. Their insensitivity or piss-take knows no limits
when accompanying this announcement they used a pic of what appeared to be a parent and
toddler holding hands.

Colin Yeo highlighted this https://twitter.com/ColinYeo1/status/487663329088126977.
Another tweeter suggested a more appropriate pic

What happens to applications on hold?

HO has said they will start processing refusals on applications on hold from July 28th. Why
wait till then? Possibly because they need to know if MM is going to SC. MM lawyers have


indicated if you are refused and choose to appeal the CoA judgment allows grounds to use
Art 8 at tribunal subject to your circumstances.

Please do seek specialist immigration advice where needed.

What is BritCits going to do?

Exactly what we'd have done if judgment was in our favour and HO appealed this to SC - but
with more determination.

Political campaigning is ongoing - last week saw several events including with JCWI and
MRN, and support at these events was evident from other NGOs and the legal profession, all
rallying against the family migration rules. David Hanson, Labour Shadow Immigration
Minister confirmed that with him in Brokenshire's role he will order an immediate review of
the rules. We would prefer something more concrete from Labour in the form of a review
now rather than post-election, and a clear pre-election pledge and we will work towards that.

There is also talk by some (Norah, Debbie, Karl, Alan, Sean, Avni,Jenny) of camping out in
Maidenhead (Theresa May's constituency). I wonder if it would be better to target Labour
instead - our words likely to fall on deaf ears with Theresa. Wherever, if this goes ahead, be
aware politicians are due to go on holiday to recover from all their hard work and to cope
with the stress from their above average pay rises.

While I am no fan of this government, and that these destructive policies are the brainchild of
the Conservative party unhindered by the Lib Dems is well known, Labour is not blameless
in this – they had the option of passing a negative resolution which would have meant these
rules could not have come into force so easily, but chose not to, despite such requests being
made to Keith Vaz.

Keith in his role as Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee publicly promised to
undertake a review of the rules in light of the APPG on Migration inquiry – and a year later
still hasn’t. Do hold Keith accountable for not having delivered on his promise, at:
vazk@parliament.uk or 020 7219 4605

If we get really desperate we could all just move to the Maidenhead electorate to try and
ensure that at least Theresa May doesn't win a seat at the next election (!).


11 July 2014 12:40

In order to provide members with an explanation as to WHY this judgment, a back of the fag
packet overview of justification as provided by the judges below. A fuller review to come.

1) Higher income requirement legitimately aimed to reduce expense to public purse and
promote greater integration of non-EEA spouses within British society.

BritCits: no recourse to public funds not given any real attention. MAC being asked to
provide an income which a couple would need to live on yet the financial requirement being
just applied to the sponsor not addressed. The fact that this higher income requirement
reduces ability to integrate of the British sponsor (via being forced to work overtime, multiple
jobs, relocate to another city) not addressed.

2) The rules are NOT incapable of being in compliance with Article 8.

BritCits: i.e. the rules are capable of being Article 8 compliant the rules ARE Article 8
compliant seems to be what the judges are saying.

3) Exclusion of 3rd party funding not irrational

BritCits: Judges say this exclusion is not at a whim - it was thought through, and therefore
magically acceptable.

4) Discrimination from these rules, albeit indirect, justified. Not practical to effectively have
different rules for the more vulnerable groups (women, young, those living in the regions) as
this will also result in more not less discrimination.

BritCits: The judges seem to be saying that Theresa May was aware of the indirect
discrimination and the rules in place are therefore a conscious decision. Therefore they’re
acceptable and not deemed irrational.

The judgment is not just unfavourable but seems to me to be frankly rubbish. I am admittedly
biased and nor am I a lawyer. Will be good to see how the lawyers involved interpret this.

We will in the meantime just soldier on.

BritCits Sonel @BritCits

Today more than ever in last 2 years we need
solidarity & strength.Campaign against rules- legally
& politically - continues. #MMcase

03:47 PM - 11 Jul 14


11 July 2014 11:50


I write to you unfortunately with bad news. I am still waiting to read the determination in full
and will update you more as soon as I can, but what I do know, below.

BritCits Sonel @BritCits

Bad news.SSHD's appeal allowed in all 3 cases
#MMcase Rules in force 9 July 2012 still in force.MM
applying for legal aid extension for SC

11:10 AM - 11 Jul 14

Court of Appeal has allowed Theresa May's appeal on all three cases that were part of the
MM & Ors vs SSHD case and deemed the rules brought into force on 9 July 2012 lawful.
The Court of Appeal agreed the rules are discriminatory but said this was justified. They
quoted a judge in another immigration case on the English Language Test, Bibi, due to be
heard in Supreme Court - "All immigration law is inherently discriminatory" I have no polite
words to express what I think of not just their ruling but this kind of justification.

The MM side's cross-appeal was refused - they are however applying for an extension to their
legal aid in order to go to Supreme Court. We hope this is awarded and if so, it's still in line
with our expectation that these rules would go to Supreme Court anyway - unfortunately now
we'll go in as the underdog.
What this means for the c4000 applications on hold is unknown, but they may well be refused
now so be prepared.

In the meantime, take a breather, lick your wounds and then let the battle continue.

While waiting for our judges and politicians to understand the concept of family life, for
those who can, free movement rights may be more attractive now. Read these if interested
and feel free to contact us for more info.


Disappointed and shocked - but good always triumphs over evil so let us not be beaten.