The UK has promised to combat the EU's threat
27 April 2012
EU threat over UK immigration compliance
The European Union has threatened to take the British Government to court over UK immigration laws not being in compliance with the EU's free movement directive.
The free movement directive allows citizens of any country within the EU to settle in the UK with their dependants without the need for a UK visa. However, the EU contends Britain has failed to grant this right to EU citizens and has also prevented them from using the NHS.
The executive arm of the EU, the European Commission has given British ministers two months to comply with legislation or face a potentially lengthy and costly trial.
"As one of the EY's larger member states, the UK is home to around two million citizens from other EU countries," said the Eurpean Commission. "It is therefore important that UK laws respect their rights."
Home Secreatry Theresa May has pledged to fight the EU's directive, saying UK immigration law currently prevents abuse of the directive.
"We disagree with the Commission's opinion, which is not binding, and we will appeal," said a Home Office spokesperson.
"As the Home Secretary has said at the Council of Ministers, we will not tolerate abuse of the free movement directive."
The UK has been embroiled in an ongoing battle with the European Commission over at least 80 breaches of the directive over the last two years. While most of them have since been resolved, the latest is only likely to prolong the argument.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.