74. Reinstating the primary purpose rule, bringing an end to sham marriage migration
The primary purpose rule was abolished in 1997. It forced people to prove a negative, that their primary reason for coming to the UK was to join their wives or husbands and not to obtain British residency. It is acknowledged thats it purpose was a sop to changing political pressures.
Even when it existed it was described in some legal texts as a “sordid episode in immigration history” ( Bevan 1986 ) or as “this cruel rule ( Sachdev 1993 )
The history of the rule was one of trying to prevent, specifically, those UK citizens not born in the UK from bringing to this county their spouses. It was designed by Thatchers Government to lower migration numbers from the Commonwealth, in particular Asia. Between 1980 and 1983 it prevented almost all spouses from the commonwealth from joining their partners. In 1983 they had to change the rules due to an imminent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. This brought to the fore the idea of Primary Purpose ( none of which UKIP MSP and PPC David Coburn knew )
With entry clearance officers having complete discretion over whether enough proof had been provided it led to many legitimate couples being prevented from living together in the UK. In 1996 over 1000 couples were barred from being together on the basis of the rule. Traditional arranged marriages, where the woman was from the UK and the husband from India or Pakistan, were often refused primary purpose on the basis that it was traditional for the woman to go to the mans home and not the other way around. It took an appeal in 1997 for a judge to admit that this was a tradition that had broken down and refusing entry on that basis was failing to apply equality to men and women.
They would refuse entry if the marriage was between second cousins not first – saying a break in tradition clearly meant the primary purpose was not marriage. They would prevent couples joining one another on the basis that one of them was not attractive enough for the other to want to marry them ( one case involved a speech impediment! ).
The vast majority of cases involved Asian couples and it was clearly aimed at them.
In 1999 I wanted my long term partner of 6 years to come to the UK to live with me. We had met in Israel, but as he was a Ghanian citizen we had to go to Ghana in order to make an application. Even though the Primary Purpose Rule was no longer in force the amount of documentation I had to produce was considerable, including affidavits from those who knew us and were happy to state the length of “our” relationship.
Yet again Ukip are taking a step sordid step backwards whilst ignoring that the tories have already issued new guidelines on “sham marriages and civil partnerships”
It was a racist policy when is in force the first time around and roundly condemned by all, but then again Ukip attract,embers who think the this “The genocide of the Peoples of Europe” is a reality it’s a sop to those “bigots” and “racists” in Ukip who believe this: