Merry family case raised

Home Secretary asked to look at family’s circumstances.

Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs Fiona Hyslop has written to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd to raise concerns about the case of the Merry family from Coatbridge who face being separated as a result of the UK’s immigration rules.

The Scottish Government has consistently opposed the UK Government’s restrictions to family migration, questioning the changes to UK family migration policy changes and recently published ‘Scotland’s Population Needs & Migration Policy’.

Full text of the letter is below.

I am writing with regards to the Merry family from Coatbridge, whose situation has recently been brought to my attention.

I have been advised that Mrs Volha Merry has been refused permission to remain in the UK and has been ordered by the Home Office to leave the UK by Wednesday 11 April. I understand  Mr Merry is a UK citizen and the couple have a young daughter who is a British citizen, born in Scotland.

We understand that the family have taken steps to allow them to remain in the UK under the relevant immigration requirements.  As we set out in our response to the UKBA’s consultation that preceded changes to the family migration route in 2012, the Scottish Government remains deeply concerned that the restrictions on family migration are having a damaging impact on many ordinary, hard-working Scottish citizens, their families and our economy, and we continue to support greater flexibility in these rules. In our recently published paper ‘Scotland’s Population Needs & Migration Policy’, we call for a different approach to family migration, to improve the rights of people in Scotland and the UK to bring close family into the country with them, respecting the right to family life and the rights of British children.  In this case, it involves the right of a particularly young child, born here in the UK, not to be separated from one or other of her parents, one of whom is a UK citizen.  We also believe that the UK Government should continue to protect the rights of the family members of EU citizens after Brexit, and should take account of the value of family life by extending these rights to the family members of UK citizens.

I would be grateful if you could look into this case as a matter of urgency and would welcome information on your conclusions.

Fiona Hyslop


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