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Capparrelli – Ian Macdonald QC to the rescue?

Capparrelli – Ian Macdonald QC to the rescue?

  • 29/07/2017
  • Answered by Red Square London’s Immigration Specialist, Oliver Westmoreland – Ответил наш Специалист по Иммиграционным Вопросам, Оливер Вестморлэнд
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Capparrelli – Ian Macdonald QC to the rescue?

29 July 2017

As we recently reported (“Has British citizenship been wrongly given to thousands of Europeans?”, 24 July), the Upper Immigration Tribunal has suddenly and unexpectedly suggested that Europeans granted British citizenship on the basis of European Permanent Residence may not have been done so lawfully.  The reasoning being that – on a proper legal understanding – Europeans cannot become “settled” in the UK because a migrant can only become “settled” under British law, not European law.

A lot of lawyers have opined on the internet that this decision was wrongly decided, and they have provided a variety of reasonings of their own.

One such submission was made by Ian Macdonald QC, who is the brains behind the famous and extensive “Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice” – an authoritative text that is sometimes referred to and quoted by judges in their decision-making.

Mr Macdonald made quite a complex argument, but what he said at the beginning struck us very strongly. European free movement law is part of British law, he says, because all European law was incorporated into British law by the European Communities Act 1972.

Keen students of British law may surely agree with him. This Act was the one which, at a stroke, brought European law into British law. Perhaps because the relevant parts were rather vaguely worded, or perhaps because of legal inertia, the courts somewhat struggled with it at first but eventually its principles became fully accepted.

The ineluctable conclusion would therefore seem to be that European free movement law is part of British law, and that those Europeans who have apparently acquired British citizenship on the basis of Permanent Residence have indeed done so.

The Upper Tribunal did not refer to this subject when it made its decision, which is coming under a lot of attack.

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