Do civil servants not bother to read EU directives?

For reasons which all my regular reasons will know I’ve been following the progress of British nationality legislation over the last few years.

Quick summary to bring ‘yall up to speed…. Pre-1982 children born in the UK took their nationality from their father. However, from that point children took nationality from their mother and could only take their nationality from their father if he was married to their mother. This was recognised as being discriminatory and in 2002 a new law was passed which removed that condition (ie that the father needed to be married) but that particular section wasn’t implemented until 2006.

How could they do that anyway? After all, the sex discrimination legislation forbids discrimination like that, doesn’t it? Yes, but there’s an exemption for public bodies which, of course, includes the people who handle UK nationality. However, COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2004/113/EC of 13 December 2004 removed that exemption as of April 6th 2008 when it was implemented in UK law.

Interestingly though, the nationality people are STILL saying that children born pre-2006 can only get nationality from their father if he was married to their mother.

What’ll be interesting is their response to my recent application for James’ passport which quotes the various laws above and points out that they are breaking the law. (The EU law directs national governments to abolish any laws, regulations and administrative provisions contrary to the principle of equal treatment).

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