Feature of the Fortnight
A topic that has been the cause of much discussion in the past few weeks has been the meeting between French President, Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Out of the summit came the Sandhurst treaty, a document that builds on the previous 2003 Le Touquet treaty. According to Free Movement, the UK government is pleased with the treaty in that it has retained the essence of the Le Touquet treaty (which mainly benefits the UK) in return for the UK accepting more migrants from France and giving £45 million to support French costs. However, Free Movement also suggest that the rest of the new treaty is rather vague and gives only a general idea of what both parties want to achieve. CNN report that the processing time for cases will now be reduced from six months to one month for adults, and to 25 days for children. Both leaders have also cited a desire for a safe and more efficient border. The Business Insider UK reports a less positive side to the meeting, as Macron supposedly says that he is leaving the door open for the UK to re-join the EU, but if they do not the UK ‘must accept it will lose trade access’.
Brussels could pay EU nationals' application fees to stay in UK
The Guardian – 23 January
Following threats from the UK Home Office to charge EU Nationals a £72 application fee to receive ‘settled status’ in the UK, Brussels are proposing to cover the costs of applications. This has been suggested if the UK ‘does not make a more generous offer’ towards EU Nationals.
Drop in foreign workers may drive up wages but dampen productivity, says BoE's Saunders
The Telegraph – 17 January
Michael Saunders, a member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, has predicted that a fall in immigration levels due to Brexit could lead to a drive in wage growth. Saunders has also predicted that inflation will continue to fall, but the ‘drop in inward migration seems to be adversely affecting workforce quality, which may cap future productivity gains.
£29 million extra to boost councils’ support for vulnerable children
Gov.UK – 16 January
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid has announced that an additional £29 million will be given to councils in England to increase the support given to unaccompanied children who are seeking asylum. The extra funds will allow councils to improve on current government projects and increase housing for child asylum seekers.
New immigration bail and detention powers in force from today
Free Movement writer, Colin Yeo details the changes to The Immigration Act 2016 that came into force on 15 January 2018. A single power of Immigration bail has now replaced ‘a legal framework containing six different legal statuses’.
Destitute UK asylum seekers get 80p rise in subsistence payments
The Guardian – 15 January
The Home Office has announced an 80p rise in weekly subsistence payments to asylum seekers, now reaching £37.75. However, whilst refugee support groups welcome the first rise in seven years, there are still criticisms that it is not enough to live off of, and asylum seekers subsistence payments should be increased ‘to at least 70% of social security benefit rates’.