Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Fun Online Polls: Speed traps & EU citizens in the UK

The results to last fortnight's Fun Online Poll were as follows:\

Sent a fixed penalty notice for 61 mph in a poorly signalled 50 mph stretch on the M62 at 10.22 pm. What's my best course of action?

Do the Speed Awareness Course - 68%
Take the 3 points on my licence - 15%
Go to court and appeal - 13%
Other, please specify - 4%

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

(I still haven't made up my mind, the stubborn part of me does't want to meekly cough up £100 and do the SAC even though AFAIAC it was so poorly signalled that I ought to be given the benefit of the doubt. AFAIAC the speed limit on motorways is 70 mph unless there is good reason to assume otherwise. There was no such reason, everybody else was accelerating back up to 70 mph, end of discussion.)
This week's Fun Online Poll - what approach would you like the UK government to take regarding citizens from other EU Member States currently living in the UK?

Vote HERE or use the widget in the sidebar.

UPDATE: Having now thought about this for a couple of hours, if I were the UK government, I would by-pass the EU entirely and just go to each individual Member State and thrash out individual, bilateral, mutual deals i.e. your passport holders can stay in the UK and our passport holders can stay in your country on the following terms and conditions to apply in both directions...

Quite what those T&Cs are doesn't really matter, hopefully it will level out at something sensible either way (so we might agree that Poles in the UK do not need work permits and neither do Brits in Poland. Or perhaps Poles in the UK need work permits and so do Brits in Poland, whatever). But that was a bit long to squidge into the possible answers section on the Poll.

The rules might have changed since I did a couple of units of EU law seventeen years ago, but at the time, EU Member States were bound by EU rules as regards citizens from other MSs, but each MS can make up its own rules vis a vis citizens from non-EU countries or enter into treaties with non-EU countries regarding immigration, extradition and so on.


L fairfax said...

Can you add "be allowed to stay if they don't cost us anything & the EU agrees the same for our citizens".
My dislike of the EU started when I saw EU citizens being given housing that I couldn't afford.

ThomasBHall said...

Agreed- need an option that allows people to stay without access to public purse

Ben Jamin' said...

@ L fairfax

Not just EU citizens surely?

When are we planning to hold a referendum to do something about the rest?

L fairfax said...

Sadly we can't deport UK citizens with their hand in the public purse - although workfare might help there.

James Higham said...

My suggestion is make sure it's 120 kph next time.

Shiney said...

My vote was "all get permanent residence visas automatically"... with a cut off date - say 31st Dec 2016 to stop an inward rush to beat a deadline.

Everybody else who comes between now and UK leaving needs a visa/work permit after we leave.

Citizens Income solves the 'public purse' argument - they aren't citizens so they don't get benefits. They can apply if they want.

Curtis said...


Your proposal is more generous than the most generous possible option under existing law.

Permanent residence is an automatic status that an EEA/EU national gets after continuously exercising EEA treaty rights in another member state for 5 years. Their non-EU family members who have accompanied them into the UK also get this status.

If the UK leaves the EU on 31 March 2019, then everyone who arrived on 31 March 2014 or earlier, who has been working without a gap of more than 3 months, or been self-sufficient with their own health insurance, or a combination of a few other options as per the EEA treaty, will already have automatically become a permanent resident at the time of Brexit.

The document that all the EU citizens are hastily applying for is a confirmation that permanent residence was automatically acquired on the 5th anniversary of arrival.

Anyone who arrived after 31 March 2014 would therefore not have any legal right to permanent residence status under EU laws. Furthermore, I would say that anyone arriving after the referendum would have no expectation that they would be able to stay for the requisite 5 years (with a grace period, since very few people wake up and suddenly decide to move to another country that day).

Permanent residence status is different to Indefinite Leave to Remain which is a UK status.

Once we leave the EU, permanent resident status will no longer exist, and technically all permanent residents could be removed the next day.

However, the current plan appears to be that existing EU laws will become British laws upon leaving, with selective repeal afterwards.

The UK already has a functioning immigration system (albeit skewed towards wealthy people and people in London) and EU citizens could easily be made to apply under those rules after the date of Brexit.

Shiney said...


I bow to your greater knowledge. What I was trying to espouse was.... 'give the ones who are already here (before 31/12 or before the date of the referendum if you like) their current rights' and then once we leave revert to the system in place for everyone else.

Sort of.

My instinct is that we shouldn't f**k with people's lives... on the whole those who have come from the EU have made a contribution and should be allowed to stay. Using them as a bargaining point with EU is wrong.

As Mark says... they can apply to become British citizens if they like which solves the problem.

Anomalous Cowshed said...

Interesting point; AFAIK, the Vienna Convention means that British withdrawal from the EU treaties does not, by itself, alter the status of EU citizens in the UK (and vice versa); that status change can only happen if a new treaty is agreed, or if UK law changes after we withdraw. Since Parliament is sovereign and can not be bound, then only the first option is actually meaningful, so all the talk about guaranteeing rights is only pointless wibble.

Could be wrong though.

The other point about talking directly to member states; essentially, when A50 notification happens, the general thinking seems to be that we negotiate with the EU; presumably with the Commission. But the Commission are effectively only acting as agents for the remaining member states, and the CETA balls up with the Canadians shows that the Commission doesn't have the effective authority to bind those states to any agreement it might reach with the UK. And the Walloons that rejected the trade agreement aren't signatories to any of the EU treaties themselves, just a region under the Belgian national government, which is.

So, as you point out, why bother with the Commission at all, and also, the Commission are in an extremely exposed position the moment A50 notification happens.

Mark Wadsworth said...

C and AC, thanks for extra background info.

It's all very tricky and you make very good points.

But the poll was about establishing a general direction of travel. not the finer distinctions between "indefinite leave to remain" and "permanent residence" etc.