A European Court of Justice ruling has been slammed by West Midlands UKIP MEP James Carver claiming it makes UK residents second class citizens in their own country.
Mr Carver was referring to the case of Algerian Toufik Lounes, who became an illegal immigrant after overstaying his visa.
The Home Office refused his request for permanent residency in the UK, but was overruled by the ECJ because his wife has dual British-Spanish nationality.
That means, under the free movement of families’ directive, because Perla Nerea García Ormazabal had retained her Spanish nationality, as well as taking on British, UK immigration rules can be circumvented.
Under those rules a British citizen cannot bring a spouse from a country outside the EU unless they earn more than £18,600 a year.
Mr Carver said: “This is one rule for EU citizens living here with dual nationality and another for UK residents.
“The result of this is that this lady’s husband – who had overstayed his visa and was, therefore, an illegal immigrant, has more rights than a British citizen.
“This cannot be right or fair and the sooner we are free of the shackles of the EU and able to run our own affairs, the better.”