IMA intervenes in Court of Appeal Proceedings

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The Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA) has intervened within the ongoing proceedings of Secretary of State for Work & Pensions v AT.

The IMA was set up to ensure that public bodies uphold the rights of EU and EEA EFTA citizens, and certain members of their families, within the UK and Gibraltar.

This case, which concerns the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (“the Charter”) under the framework of the Withdrawal Agreement following the UK leaving the EU, was previously heard in the Upper Tribunal. The IMA also intervened within the Upper Tribunal, and further details of that intervention are available on the IMA’s website.

In the Upper Tribunal proceedings, amongst other points, AT argued that in refusing her Universal Credit, the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions (“SSWP”) had breached her Charter rights, those rights flowing through following the end of the transition period under the Withdrawal Agreement. The Upper Tribunal held that the Charter was indeed applicable under the Withdrawal Agreement in certain circumstances. The SSWP was given permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal, with the IMA subsequently being granted permission to intervene within this important appeal.

As with the proceedings below, the IMA considered it appropriate to intervene in this appeal to promote the adequate and effective implementation or application of the citizens’ rights contained within Part 2 of the Withdrawal Agreement. This is a key case of significant public importance, and concerns the interpretation of the Withdrawal Agreement. The fundamental question in the appeal concerns the continued role of the Charter following the end of the transition period, which in turn raises the question as to how the Court of Justice’s decision in CG (Case C-709/20) applies under the Withdrawal Agreement. Due to the IMA’s statutory role, it considered that it could add real value by intervening within the current proceedings.

The Court of Appeal hearing is listed on 8-10 March 2023. In readiness for the hearing, the IMA has filed its skeleton argument.

The IMA encourages any citizen experiencing difficulties in exercising their rights to make them aware of this through their online portal. Further information about the IMA and guidance on how to report complaints can also be found on the IMA’s website.

The IMA is keen to hear about any litigation relating to Part 2 of the Withdrawal Agreement or EEA EFTA Separation Agreement, and would encourage those litigating in this area to forward details to litigation@ima-citizensrights.org.uk.