Examination of Witness

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:29 pm on 14th February 2019.

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Professor Peers:

First of all, I agree that it is useful to have the clause there. I think there was a general assumption in some quarters that we did not need to say anything on Irish citizens, because they were covered, although my colleague in Leicester, Bernard Ryan, questioned that over the years. It is now there in the legislation, and it is useful to have.

However, having looked at that recently, I think the question of family reunion might arise. Are Irish citizens covered by the general appendix EU rules on family reunion as the Government intend to implement them in event of no deal, where there would be a shorter period in which the EU rules on family reunion apply? Does their being covered by those rules depend on whether they apply for settled status? There might be an answer to that that I have missed, but that question certainly arose for me.

That is not just about people who have non-EU citizens as family members, about people who have EU citizens as family members. After a no-deal Brexit, EU citizens would be coming here on a limited basis, according to the Government’s plans on limited three-year permits. Someone might be in a better position if they are here as a family member, so it would be useful to know whether such people would end up being covered as family members. Perhaps that will be clearer when we get further changes to the immigration rules to implement the no-deal plans. I have checked this afternoon, but I have not seen that implemented yet. It would be useful to see it.