The Daily Express claimed today that European Union bureaucrats are planning to take ‘unprecedented control’ over Britain’s immigration and criminal justice systems, according to a report this week by Open Europe. But the article fails to mention that migrants are already exercising rights to stay (or bring in extended family) in the UK under EEA law.
In a paper to mark the first anniversary of the controversial EU Lisbon Treaty, the article continues, experts warned that “democratic control” over policing, law courts and other home affairs was in danger of being further undermined by Brussels.
The paper, by the Eurosceptic think-tank Open Europe, claims that this could mean Britain being forced to accept thousands more asylum seekers and sweeping new powers for foreign police officers to snoop on UK citizens.
Proposals being discussed in Brussels include moves by the European Commission to set up a “Common European Asylum System” that could lead to Britain being forced to accept a new quota of asylum seekers.
And the Commission is to publish a report on “enhanced EU solidarity in asylum”, calling for changes in the way the burden of accepting asylum seekers is spread across Europe.
Another initiative being discussed in Brussels is a European Criminal Records Information System planned from 2012 that will link up national police databases. The Government is in talks with the EU about giving European police forces powers to put UK citizens under surveillance with access to DNA records.
Under the Lisbon Treaty, Britain has the right to “opt out” of many EU justice and immigration decisions. But the Open Europe report warned that ministers were able to sign up to EU justice measures without any vote by MPs.
Stephen Booth, a policy analyst at Open Europe, said: “The EU’s growing ambitions in justice and home affairs deserve Parliament’s undivided attention.”
Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley and a leading member of the Better Off Out group in Parliament, said: “Any attempt to tackle immigration and asylum or maintain the independence of our justice system is spitting in the wind while Britain remains a member of the EU.” Source: Daily Express.
European laws already override many of our UK laws, even when it comes to the controversial area of immigration.
Qualified migrants and their extended family dependents have for some time been exercising rights to stay (or bring in extended family) in the UK under EEA law.
EEA nationals for the most part enjoy far more favourable conditions for partners, children and other relatives which in many cases would not be allowed in to Britain under UK immigration law.
European ‘freedom of movement’ rules are far less restrictive than UK immigration law for family members. For instance immediate family members such as, spouses, civil partners, children, parents and even grandparents would be allowed to join an EEA member in the UK applying under EEA law. Extended family such as a relative requiring care for a serious illness would also be allowed in under EEA applications.
Even a UK national exercising European ‘Treaty’ rights of freedom of movement within the EEA would benefit from Treaty law rules and make use of much more beneficial provisions for his or her non-EU family members.
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