An answer can be found on free movement, if only political leaders had the courage to look for itby Ian Dunt / August 31, 2018 / Leave a comment
“Kick out European Union migrants after three months if they can’t find jobs after Brexit” is not, admittedly, a typical Remainer headline. But peer closely at it and you can see a clue to how soft Brexit could be delivered.
It was tweeted out last month by the Sun newspaper, as part of a story on business needs after Brexit. The content matters less than the tone, though. The important thing is that it sounds tough, appropriate for a snarling anti-immigration red-top tabloid and the kind of thing Leave voters want to hear. It is also completely consistent with staying in the single market.
In 2010, a 25-year-old Romanian woman called Elisabeta Dano travelled to Leipzig with her son, and moved in with her sister. She didn’t know it yet, but she was going to play a small but important role in Europe’s constitutional history.
After a year or so, she applied for benefits, but the Jobcentre refused her. She could speak German and was fit for work, they pointed out, but she hadn’t looked for a job. They weren’t having it. She issued a legal challenge against the decision to the local court. They passed up a few questions to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which amounted to a stress-test of free movement rules.