In AT v SSWP  EWCA Civ 1307, the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Secretary of State regarding the lawfulness of disentitling those EU citizens with Pre-Settled Status from claiming Universal Credit.
AT was a victim of domestic violence who had fled her home with a young child. The First-tier Tribunal found that she was destitute at this time. The Secretary of State determined that, as an EU citizen with Pre-Settled Status, she was not entitled to Universal Credit. The First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal quashed the refusal, relying on the CJEU judgment of C-709/20 CG v Department of Communities for Northern Ireland  1 CMLR 26 and AT’s rights under the Charter of Fundamental Rights. It was held that, following Brexit, the right to dignity under Article 1 of the Charter continued to apply in certain limited respects as a result of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement. In refusing Universal Credit to AT, the Secretary of State failed to ensure that AT and her child were able to enjoy that continuing right.
The Secretary of State appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Secretary of State’s arguments included that:
The Court of Appeal dismissed the Secretary of State’s appeal. It found that:
The judgment can be found here.
Julia Smyth and Harriet Wakeman acted for the Secretary of State.
Galina Ward KC and Yaaser Vanderman acted for the AIRE Centre (intervening) instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills.