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European Union (Accessions) Act 2003

Section 2 Freedom of movement for workers

15.This section enables the Secretary of State to make regulations allowing nationals of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia (“the eight relevant states”) to work in the UK on the same terms as are enjoyed by nationals of the existing Member States of the European Union. It achieves this in the following way:

  • Subsection (1) – allows for regulations to be made to provide that the rights of nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) to enter and reside in the UK in order to work apply to nationals of the eight relevant states; such rights are currently implemented in the UK by the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/2326) (as amended);

  • Subsection (2) - enables the regulations to extend the rights of EEA nationals to nationals of the eight relevant states in a modified or partial fashion; this will allow the application of safeguards if, e.g., it becomes necessary to restrict freedom of movement for workers from some but not all of the eight relevant states;

  • Subsection (3) – allows for transitional or consequential provisions and enables the regulations to make different provisions for different cases; this could be used to make different provisions for different states;

  • Subsection (4) – provides that the regulations will apply only in respect of states that have ratified the Accession Treaty;

  • Subsection (6) – requires the regulations to be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure in each House of Parliament;

  • Subsections (7)-(10) – allow regulations, notwithstanding subsection (6), to be made subject to the delayed affirmative resolution procedure in each House of Parliament, if it appears to the Secretary of State that this should be done because of urgency. However, the delayed affirmative resolution procedure cannot be used for the first set of regulations made under this section, which are subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

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