Colin's Journal

Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

September 24th, 2004


The BBC is usually reasonably accurate when it comes to reporting on immigration issues in the UK. Their current piece on “Beating the sham wedding cheats” however starts with a significant inaccuracy:

Fungi growing in the woods.

The number of bogus weddings has increased dramatically in recent years according to Home Office records.

The scam exploits a legal loophole meaning that foreigners can stay in the UK if they marry an EU citizen working in the country.

My understanding of a legal loophole is that the effect of the law concerned is unintentional. The freedom to bring your spouse into the EU country where you work is a fundamental one agreed at the EU level, not something accidentally granted through legislative incompetence.

Sham marriages are a problem whether the participant is a UK national or from another EU country. Restricting the ability of EU nationals to bring their families into the country would hurt a significant number of people, and make little dent in the problem.

I wonder whether the BBC piece is even original work, rather than being taken off a wire, as almost identical wording can be found in the corresponding Guardian article.

Photo: Fungi growing in Mount Pleasant Park, Nova Scotia.

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Copyright 2015 Colin Stewart

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