Feb 22, 2021 - 1000 EU financial firms plan to open UK offices

About 1,000 EU finance firms are eyeing up opening offices in the UK for the first time, according to financial consultancy Bovill.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the firm found that 1,500 money managers, payment firms and insurers have applied for permission to continue operating in the UK after Brexit.

Around two-thirds had no prior physical operations in Britain, it said. It suggests London "is set to remain a key global financial centre".

"Many of these European firms will be opening offices for the first time, which is good news for UK professional advice firms across multiple ...

Feb 22, 2021 - Grace period for overstayers cannot be relied on twice

The grace period for overstayers in paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules cannot be relied on twice. This, in short, is the conclusion of the Court of Appeal in Kalsi & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 184.

Exception for overstayers

The rules for most types of visa require that the person must not already be in the UK in breach of the immigration laws, unless paragraph 39E applies. This paragraph allows a period of overstaying to be disregarded when making a new application. It says:

39E. This paragraph applies where:

(1) the application was made within 14 days...

Feb 19, 2021 - Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to extend emergency Covid support beyond 31 March

Rishi Sunak is set to extend business rates relief and the furlough scheme into the summer, offering further support to companies battered by coronavirus restrictions.

In his Budget next month, the chancellor is expected to announce that the year-long business rates holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will continue beyond the previous end-date of 31 March.

Sunak will instead issue his final report on a review of business rates, which will consider a potential online sales tax to help boost high-street retailers, in the autumn.

Other support measures, including the furlough ...

Feb 19, 2021 - UK Home Office £1000 fee for children to register as British citizens is unlawful

Court rules that Home Office failed to assess and consider the impact of this fee on children and their rights

The Court of Appeal on 18 February 2021 upheld the ruling of the High Court that the £1,012 fee the Home Office charges children to register as a British citizen is unlawful.

This landmark case, brought by the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC) and O (a child), has revealed the dreadful impact of this fee on children.

In 2019, the High Court found a “mass of evidence” showing that the fee prevents many children from registering their British citizensh...

Feb 18, 2021 - UK government borrowing hits highest January level since records began

UK government borrowing hit £8.8bn last month, the highest January figure since records began in 1993, reflecting the cost of pandemic support measures.

It was the first time in 10 years that more has been borrowed in January than collected through tax and other income.

January is usually a key revenue-raising month as it is when taxpayers submit their self-assessment returns.

Tax income fell by less than £1bn, but the government spent £19.7bn more than last year on measures such as furlough.

Government borrowing for this financial year has now reached £270.6bn, which is £222bn more than a yea...

Feb 17, 2021 - House prices up 8.5% in 2020 amid tax holidays.

UK house prices climbed 8.5% in 2020, the highest annual growth rate since October 2014, according to official figures.

The average UK house price reached a record high of £252,000 in December 2020, the Office for National Statistics said.

The North West had the highest growth of 11.2%, while London rose just 3.5%.

The stamp duty holiday due to end this March contributed to the rise, the ONS said.

Spending more time at home in the pandemic meant some people also decided they needed more space.

That was reflected in the average price of detached properties climbing by twice as much as flats and...

Feb 17, 2021 - People with pre-settled status can sponsor family members under Appendix FM

Since 31 December 2020, the list of people who can sponsor a family member under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules has included those who are “in the UK with limited leave under Appendix EU, in accordance with paragraph GEN 1.3(d)”.

As the name suggests, GEN 1.3(d) is found in the “General” section of Appendix FM. It says:

References to a person being “in the UK with limited leave under Appendix EU” mean an EEA national in the UK who holds valid limited leave to enter or remain granted under paragraph EU3 of Appendix EU to these Rules on the basis of meeting condition 1 in paragraph EU14 of...

Feb 17, 2021 - Warnings inflation could breach 2% target as prices rise

Rising food prices drove up inflation in January during the toughest coronavirus lockdown measures since the first wave of the pandemic.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the consumer prices index rose to 0.7% in January – from 0.6% a month earlier – as shops including food retailers and household goods stores pushed up their prices with less discounting this year on items such as beds and settees.

Some experts warned inflation will exceed the Bank of England's 2% target by the end of 2021.

The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rose 0.9% in the 1...

Feb 17, 2021 - Justice Secretary hails attack on migrants’ Article 3 and human trafficking rights

The government wants to restrict the ability of migrants to resist removal from the UK by invoking their right not to suffer inhuman or degrading treatment, the Justice Secretary has said. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Robert Buckland “confirmed plans to restrict the use of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights” in immigration and asylum cases.

These plans are “confirmed” rather than “revealed” because the same outlet reported plans for an attack on Article 3 rights last year. The idea is to put the government’s interpretation of what constitutes “torture and inhuman or d...

Feb 16, 2021 - 450,000 families ‘behind on rent because of Covid’

Almost half a million UK families are thought to have fallen behind on rent, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, according to the Resolution Foundation.

It said more than 750,000 had been behind on housing costs last month.

That is 450,000 more than January 2020.

"Despite widespread calls for forbearance in the face of the Covid-19 shock, just 3% of private renting families have been able to negotiate a lower rent over the last 10 months," the think tank said in a report.

Meanwhile, one in 20 private renters in the UK said they had been refused rent reductions.

Many had taken "huge hits" to...