As the UK looms ever closer to Brexit, the general feeling towards immigration continues to be negative. Brexit voters might not have what they thought they wanted. Further stringent controls on applying for settlement visas for partners could be on the way, especially for EU nationals. It appears that “love” is not part of the Brexit plan.

What seems very hard to understand is just how cold and calculated the entire matter is. When it comes to trade and business deals it is understandable, but surely more thought should be put into people fighting to get their loved ones to the UK. It’s a complicated process, too. It might look simple on the surface but currently it costs non-EEA families a small fortune. There is an increasing need to meet high financial criteria, and the Home Office will find any tiny detail with which to refuse an application. The burden is only part of it: having to prove the strength, validity and longevity of your relationship almost seems intrusive.

Settlement will get harder after Brexit

As soon as Brexit begins there will be millions of EU nationals suddenly thrown into uncertainty; some will be worried about settlement for their partners in a way they have not needed to with the freedom of movement. This is going to affect their relationships, their families, and so much more. It’s really beginning to make the UK sounds like quite an unfriendly country.

Of course the UK is prosperous, successful and hugely attractive to many migrants wanting to find a new life and new career. But Theresa May has made it clear that reducing numbers of immigrants is a priority, even though she is still being rather vague on exactly how she is going to do it. Perhaps that is what makes it seem so cold. She might speak of a “global” community, but at the same time she slams the door in its face. She might talk about deals and relationships with other nations, but she also wants to call all the shots for the deals. And the EU just aren’t submitting to that.

The very least we should be able to expect is to look after our families and take good care of them. If an individual is already a citizen of the UK it should not be made inordinately difficult for them to bring get settlement for their partner and loved ones.