Sometimes I really wonder if the Conservatives are on some kind of Public Relations self-destruct mission, hell-bent on ensuring that they never get elected again. With the number of Permanent Residency Refusals mixed in with the callous cutting of various welfare, care, public service and education budgets, surely no-one with any sense could vote for them. No-one with integrity: surely?
Bruno Pollet and his family are a case in point. They are a family like so many in the UK: made up of a British Citizen, their EU national spouse, and a child or children – who by default have British Citizenship. Bruno moved to the UK from France over twenty-five years ago and married Emma – a Scottish Brit – just six years ago. He’s a highly qualified professor of energy and environment in Ulster and a researcher for a power company in Swansea, so it’s safe to say that he does a job that pays back generously into the welfare of the British people. Basically, as any true stereotypical British way, we could say: “That chap really is a jolly good egg.”
However, in 2012 he went to South Africa for three years, as part of his professional development, which of course feeds back into the work he does in the UK.
And that is when it happened. His Permanent Residency Refusal was based solely on the fact that when he submitted his application he had not remained in the UK consistently without a break greater than two years since qualifying for PR. So it would seem, on paper at least, that the Home Office were right to refuse all 85 pages of his application form, and 100 pages of tax paperwork, on one tiny technicality.
But they weren’t.
Permanent Residency Refusals – The facts
It’s too easy to go on general information only and believe that Mr Pollet could be refused. But even a layman could read the full information here and see that with a bit more effort the Home Office could have easily granted Permanent Residency. Having been in the UK for 25 years, and only being outside the UK for the extended period on a basis of employment and professional development, one has to wonder what on earth could be gained by refusing his application. And that is without even going into Human Rights laws.
So this man is no drain to the welfare system; he is not guilty of a crime; he’s not an illegal immigrant or an over-stayer; and nor is he failing to meet the requirements. He is a research scientist and professor of education in an area that the UK needs. The Home Office, and the UK, should be saying: “Thank you,” not “no thanks, you’re not worthy.” Permanent Residency Refusals such as Mr Pollet’s are an offence to any decent person in the UK.
I am perfectly happy to say “Not in my name” to the Home Office and to the British Government.
However, now his family has decided to move away from the UK, and it is our loss. It is wrong that we give honours to people each year for sports, arts, science, and so much more (and rightly so). And all we have given to Bruno Pollet is a clear message that he is not “welcome” or “worthy” to permanently reside in the country he has been in, and given to, for a quarter of a century.
The very darkest cynical part of me wonders: was this another Home Office mistake of bad Permanent Residency Refusals, or was it something worse than bad PR?
For further information on the topic above, please click here.