Leg. Dev.: The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2000 and Surinder Singh: A Step in the Wrong Direction

8 Colum. J. Eur. L. 561 (2002)

David Blundell. Intern, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”), London Office. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the UNHCR.

The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2000 (“the Regulations”) came into force in the United Kingdom on October 2, 2000. The Regulations serve to re-enact, with amendments, the provisions of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Order 1994, as well as to create free-standing rights of appeal that are independent of those rights arising under statutory provisions applying to persons not claiming rights under European Community (“EC”) law. The Regulations implement nine Council Directives, all of which deal with the rights of Member State nationals classified according to Community law as workers, self- employed persons, providers and recipients of services, self-sufficient persons, retired persons and students, as well as their family members.

As the scope of the Regulations in their entirety is extremely broad, this article will be limited to an examination of Regulation 11, which deals with the situation of family members of UK nationals returning to the UK after having resided in another European Economic Area (“EEA”) State as either an employed or self-employed person. Regulation 11 purports to implement the judgment of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in Surinder Singh “by extending Community rights (in certain circumstances) to family members of a United Kingdom national.” In fact, Regulation 11 takes a significant step beyond the Surinder Singh judgment, imposing a serious limitation on the right of UK nationals to install their third- country family members with them upon re-entry into the UK, after having exercised Community law rights in another Member State, that could amount to a breach of Community law.