The campaign group NELMA is challenging the Government’s approach to detaining and deporting EU nationals who are sleeping rough. This issue long predates Brexit, existing in some form since 2010 but revamped in May 2016 when then-Home Secretary Theresa May labeled rough sleeping an ‘abuse’ of EU free movement rights.
There has been a significant increase in the numbers of homeless EU migrants deported in the last year from the UK.
NELMA have been given permission to challenge the policy in court because Mr Justice Ouseley found that rough sleeping may not be equated with ‘abuse’ of free movement rights. He also granted permission on the ground that systematic verification of EEA nationals’ right to reside in the UK solely on the basis of homelessness may be unlawful, and may amount to discrimination on the ground of property.
The court case seeks to quash the policies and secure compensation for unlawful detention and confiscation of ID documents.
Image credit: Beth Cortez-Neaval, Flickr