The Nasty Party Thinks Only the Rich Should be Allowed to Marry Foreigners


Theresa May
Image by ukhomeoffice via Flickr


Theresa May just loves playing at being Cruella de Vil.

She’s at it again today.

In a “leaked letter” (betcha she told someone to leak it) she calls for the rules for bringing foreign spouses into Britain to be tightened up.

The letter from Mrs May to Nick Clegg, which has been seen by The Sunday Telegraph, proposes a tough new minimum income of £25,700 a year for anyone seeking to bring a spouse, partner or dependant to the UK from outside the European Union from June – almost double the current threshold of £13,700.

She tells Mr Clegg: “In particular I propose a minimum income threshold of £25,700 for a British citizen or person settled in the UK to sponsor the settlement of a spouse or partner of non-EEA [European Economic Area] nationality.”

For a partner with one child, the income threshold would rise to £37,000 a year, for two to £49,300 and for three children it would hit £62,600 according to the letter.

In other words, she reckons you need an income of £37,000 a year to survive with one child, or £49,300 to survive with two children.

The latter figure is higher than the higher rate tax threshold. The figure for three children is so high that George Osborne intends to withdraw child benefit from people on that income next year, on the grounds that poor taxpayers should not subsidise “the rich” to have children.

The immigration rules have this income threshold for a purpose. The idea is to make sure that the spouse being brought into the country will not be a burden on British taxpayers.

But these thresholds that Mrs May has proposed go way beyond that. They are simply a way to prevent people marrying foreigners – unless, of course, they are rich Tory voters.

Naturally, if you are from the European Union – Poland, for example, or Latvia – these thresholds do not apply. EU rules mean that the British government is not allowed to put any restrictions at all on people from other EU countries. The Tories, being absolutely wedded to British membership of the EU, do not propose to do anything about that.

On benefits and want to marry a Pole? Be Mrs May’s guest.

But a salary of £50,000 and want to marry a Canadian widow with two children? Forget it. Mrs May says no.

Her letter to Mr Clegg hints at some of the measures that really ought to be taken to stop abuse of the rules:

The Home Secretary also refers in the latter, dated 14 March, to a need to “differentiate between genuine and non-genuine relationships” – a clear sign that ministers believe many of the marriages entered into under the current system are sham.

Of course, the Immigration and Nationality Directorate ought to ask searching questions to ensure that foreigners marrying British people are not just trying to get a visa.

But simpy assuming that all marriages to foreign people are shams and ought to be stopped – except for the rich – just about sums up Mrs May’s dumb attitude to her job.

She once said the Tories had a problem being seen as “the nasty party”.

Well, these proposals – assuming the Telegraph has reported them accurately – are certainly nasty.

The Tories may not be nasty, but Mrs May most certainly is.

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7 thoughts on “The Nasty Party Thinks Only the Rich Should be Allowed to Marry Foreigners

  1. The populace want less immigration so you can hardly blame May for thinking up ways to bring that about.

    • No, and not only do I not blame her for that; I agree with that. But depriving British citizens of the right to marry whomever they choose and bring their spouse to live with them here is outrageous.

      Mrs May has presided over huge abuse of the immigration system. While she tries to take away the marriage rights of British people, other abuses go unchecked. These proposals are worthy of the BNP.

      • You appear to want the penny and the bun. You want immigration to be better controlled but then you want those controls not to be in the least effective. Apart from which I suggest this measure is directed towards Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants who have long been abusing the system. Personally I do not believe that piecemeal methods are the best way to deal with the immigration problem and do in fact believe that in the long run immigration will do more good than harm. However in the short to medium term I believe for the sake of cultural, social and economic damage limitation something needs to be done to control it. Like Nigel Sedgwick I believe it is the environment that needs to change so that it does not encourage economic and scrounger immigrants and that means harsh curbs on welfare and healthcare.

        • I absolutely do not “want the penny and the bun”. And regardless of whether this measure may be directed against Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants, it will catch everyone (apart from EU migrants) and there are of course genuine marriages involving people from those countries too!

          Immigration is indeed beneficial but there is a limit to how fast Britain can absorb people with different cultures. For that reason, immigration needs to be controlled. Mrs May has herself admitted that border controls have not been up to scratch, thus opening the door to illegal immigration. I personally suspect that is much more widespread than the Government acknowledges. There is also abuse of the asylum system (when did that stop being “political asylum” and start being just “asylum”?), the education route and the work visas route.

          Sorting out all that is hard work, though, so Mrs May has opted for a quick fix – that will cause quite a lot of pain and anguish for many innocent British citizens and will also, by the way, be open to legal challenge under British and “international” law.

          I do agree about tackling the root causes, which are more to do with the welfare state than anything.

          I have to declare an interest here. My wife is from Ukraine and we have been married ten years. Under these rules, she would have been barred from joining me in the UK. So you can understand why I despise Mrs May for these proposals. They are a disgrace to our country, and illustrate just how low it has sunk.

    • From where I am standing (ie my humble opinion) there is no complaint against immigration.

      However, there is a complaint that the current management of the welfare state encourages immigration purely or substantially to benefit from that welfare state.

      One solution is not to bias marriage but to remove most welfare benefits from those who are not British Citizens (and to more strictly time-limit others).

      In so far as this differentiation seems harsh, perhaps there should be careful reappraisal of the availability of many of those very welfare benefits, for citizens as well.

      Many more welfare benefits should be means tested: and one of the means (additionally) available to foreign citizens is to live in the country of their citizenship.

      Best regards

      • Most immigrants come here to work. Indeed, the general complaint is that “they take jobs from British people”. They wouldn’t be able to do that, of course, if the British people were properly educated and willing to do the jobs that are available.

        As far as removing welfare entitlements is concerned, that is already done when new immigrants (including spouses) arrive in the country. It is only when they apply for “indefinite leave to remain” that the entitlement to benefits starts. At the moment, that is after two years. Mrs May is proposing to increase that to five years – fair enough.

        But stopping people coming here simply because their spouses are not higher rate taxpayers stinks.

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