Today (March 28) Britain’s highest appeals court refused to overturn a High Court judgment after an appeal was brought forwards that the rights of some Turkish businesspeople who set up businesses in the UK under the new ECCA (Turkish European Communities Association Agreement) rules have been restricted.
The appeals case concerns the rights of Turkish businesspeople, changes made by the home office to ECCA where set in place as the UK prepared to leave the EU, which has seen immigration and visa conditions held under the EU rules changed back in March of 2018 by the Home Office.
Last September, the High Court permitted the Home Office decision tightening immigration rules for thousands of Turks hoping to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the country.
The Alliance of Turkish Businesspeople said in a statement that they are considering taking the case to the Supreme Court.
While the Court of Appeal ruled that the retrospective application of more onerous indefinite leave to remain or enter (ILR) requirements for Turkish businesspeople was not proportionate, it nonetheless “denied our appeal saying there wasn’t a clear promise that if the rules changed those already within the ECAA [Turkish European Communities Association Agreement] Scheme would be treated under the old rules,” a statement from the alliance said.
“This ruling defies logic and deprives the principle of ‘legitimate expectation’ of its effectiveness as a remedy. We’re considering our right to appeal to the Supreme Court.”
Two years ago, the Home Office changed the conditions on applying for ILR and extended the previous period of four years to five which would bring it in line with the UK rules for general requirements for naturalisation application when applying for the indefinite visa and introduced a £2,389 ($2,938) application fee.
The visa scheme is based on the 1963 Ankara Agreement (Turkish European Communities Association Agreement) between Turkey and the European Economic Community, a forerunner to the EU.
However as the UK has officially left the EU and in the process of transition out of the EU, this means that they are no longer obliged to carry on with a large number of agreements and this has seen a changed made to the visa and immigration system which was at the key issue in the referendum vote to leave the EU.