Landmark ruling could protect EU workers rights in the UK

A High Court landmark ruling may have significant implications for the agricultural and rural sector after it clarified the rights of both EU citizens and those marrying third-country nationals.

The case followed an attempt by the UK authorities to deport a man whose wife had dual Spanish and British nationality.

London’s High Court was asked to provide clarification regarding EU law and how it applied to the Algerian man who had been residing in the UK with his wife.

The Court ruled that the husband had a “derived” right of residence through his wife. After deliberating the case for five months, the judges stated that the Home Office had been wrong to refuse a dual British-Spanish citizen the right to have her Algerian husband live with her in Britain.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) further ruled that the woman retained the right, under EU law, to a family life, and specifically, to have her husband live with her even if he was from a third country.

The decision means that EU citizens applying for British passports and those married or considering marriage to a third-country national, do not lose the right to bring a foreign-born spouse to the UK.

In recent months the agricultural sector has reported a reduction in the availability of EU workers.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that more than half of the change in net migration can be accounted for by a decrease in net migration of EU citizens which in August 2017 showed a significant decline of 51,000.

Although many EU citizens who are currently living and working in the UK remain concerned about their status post-Brexit, this recent ruling by both the High Court and the ECJ will go some way to clarifying an individual’s rights under dual citizenship.