Free movement of persons and citizenship Q&A


In this recording of a live lecture the following LLB examination question relating to free movement of persons and citizenship is analysed.

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The question: Alan is a German citizen and a carpenter. He came to the UK three years ago with his wife, Caly, who is Russian, and their two children, Ben and Dora, both of whom attend schools in London.

Initially after the family arrived in the UK, Alan was very busy as a carpenter. Recently, however, the recession has led to a fall off in work. Alan now has no work, which means that he cannot make ends meet. Last month, he applied for Job Seekers Allowance (“JSA”), the UK unemployment benefit, but the benefits office refused his claim on the ground that he did not have a ‘right to reside’ in the UK derived from EU law. In particular, he was not an employed ‘worker’ under EU law, nor retained the status of worker.

After she joined her husband in London, Caly obtained part-time employment in a shop. However, her earnings are insufficient to cover the family’s living costs. In particular, the family cannot now meet the monthly rental payment for their apartment. Two weeks ago, Caly applied to the local council for housing benefit. But this was refused on the grounds that she was not an EU citizen and Alan was not a ‘worker’ under EU law.

Alan and Caly have approached you for legal advice about whether they can rely on EU law to challenge: (i) the decision of the benefits office refusing Alan JSA; and (ii) the council’s decision refusing the family housing benefit.

Advise Alan and Caly.

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Issues discussed include: those entitled to free movement rights in the EU; the rights; the scope of the rights; survival of the rights on a change of status; entitlement to social security benefits; job seeker rights; EU citizenship – a wider right to equal treatment.

Cases discussed include: Levin (1982); Steyman (1988); Vatsouras (2009); Brown (1988); Ibrahim v Harrow (2010); Baumbast and R (2002); Lair (1988); Martinex Sala (1998); Gryzelczk (2001); Brey (2013); Alimanovic (2015); Zambrano (2011).

Recording: 56 minutes (approx)


Denis Edwards – Experienced lecturer and examiner of a number of LLB subjects including EU Law, Public Law, and Human rights. He has produced newsletters and audio recordings on EU Law for the University of London International Programmes VLE. In addition, as consultant professor to the Russian State University, he teaches EU law to students in Moscow studying for the University of London International Programme LLB. He practices as a Barrister at Francis Taylor Building, London and is a visiting lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Recorded – April 2016