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Welcoming the New Arrivals? A Critical Analysis of the Impact of ‘Europe’ on the UK’s Welfare Support Regime for Migrants and their Family Members

PUTTICK, Keith (2011) Welcoming the New Arrivals? A Critical Analysis of the Impact of ‘Europe’ on the UK’s Welfare Support Regime for Migrants and their Family Members. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

Against a back-drop of changes which since the 1980s have been making the UK’s welfare support regime for migrants progressively more restrictive, the research programme critically analysed the impact of European Law, namely EU Law and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (the ECHR), on the regime. The enquiry was undertaken in the research period 2003-2011.

After considering historical and theoretical contexts, the factors informing reforms to the regime, and the impact of EU ‘soft measures’ at the start of the research period, the research examined the impact of Convention rights-based interventions following entry into operation of the UK’s Human Rights Act 1998 (from October 2000). It sought to establish whether this could be said to amount to a ‘safety-net’ for claimants without a substantive right to welfare support, in some cases as a result of restrictions linked to immigration status.

Consideration was then given to EU Law aspects, including ‘free movement’ rights, and the rights under EU Law of new arrivals from other Member States. This analysed the impact of the UK’s restrictions on support from 1st May 2004 affecting nationals from the A8 and A2 countries coming to the UK: restrictions informed by expectations that claimants should ‘reciprocate’ for their support and ‘contribute’ by taking up employment opportunities and helping to meet the labour market’s needs. Comparisons were made with approaches taken by the two other countries admitting such nations in 2004, Sweden and Ireland. The enquiry then focused on the UK’s scheme of implementation of Directive 2004/38 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely in the Member States. Much of the enquiry focused on distinctive features of the scheme such as the operation of the ‘right to reside’, including requirements that claimants must normally be ‘economically active’ or self-sufficient, and the courts’ role in interpreting and applying the scheme, and dealing with challenges based on ‘proportionality’ and discrimination arguments.

Collectively, the works informed by the research provide a critical analysis of the UK support regime’s development in the areas referred to. Conclusions are provided in the ‘Research Conclusions’ section of the analysis.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M100 Law by area
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Business, Education and Law > Law
Depositing User: Keith PUTTICK
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2013 10:02
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2013 10:02
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/1560

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