So Much for Brexit: EU Threatens Legal Action Against UK for Not Following Migration Rules

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The European Union is threatening legal action against the United Kingdom for alleged failings in its obedience to Free Movement migration rules, despite the country’s supposed break with the bloc in January.

The British public voted to leave the European Union in 2016, but it was not until 2020 that their country finally left the bloc — at least technically.

For all practical purposes, however, the United Kingdom remains an EU member-state in all but name, bound by its laws, its trade policy, and its migration regime through an ongoing “transition” period — and Brussels is now attempting to exert its continued authority.

“Today the European Commission launched infringement proceedings against the United Kingdom for failure to comply with EU law on the free movement of EU citizens and their family members,” the bloc declared in a formal letter of notice published on its website.

The Commission alleged that “UK national legislation limits the scope of beneficiaries of EU free movement law in the United Kingdom as well as the possibilities for EU citizens and their family members to appeal administrative decisions restricting free movement rights”.

“EU law on free movement of persons continues to apply to and in the United Kingdom as if it were still an EU Member State during the transition period [sic],” they asserted.

“The United Kingdom now has four months to take the necessary measures to address the shortcomings identified by the Commission.”

The EU has also threatened to drag the United Kingdom before the European Court of Justice, to which it remains subject despite having lost all representation on its benches, over Boris Johnson’s plan to exempt French travellers from a 14-day quarantine requirement.

This requirement, it should be noted, has not actually been implemented — with Britain one of the only countries in the world which has not imposed any travel bans on any countries or required incoming arrivals to quarantine themselves through the Chinese coronavirus pandemic — but it is said that one likely will finally be implemented in June.

Prime Minister Johnson and France’s Emmanuel Macron have announced that France will likely be exempt from this quarantine, however — despite that country’s relatively high infection rate and failure to control a flood of illegal boat migrants crossing the English Channel.

The EU has not looked kindly on this eyebrow-raising concession, with a spokesman for the Commission telling the Telegraph that “If there was a member-state that was discriminating and was not in line with EU legislation, the Commission would intervene” and signalling that the British would be sued unless they granted the same exemption to all European Union residents.

It is telling that the spokesman clearly regarded the United Kingdom as an EU member-state for the purposes of the “transition” period — which the EU wants to extend, ostensibly due to the coronavirus disrupting trade deal negotiations — regardless of Brexit.

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