Love should never have a price tag. People of all socio-economic backgrounds worldwide share a love that cannot and must not be quantified. To be constrained or restrained in any such way when it comes to one of the more complex and sensitive human topics would be devastating, but unfortunately, it’s an economic battle that many are facing today.
For those fortunate enough to be among the privileged, the adversity of such a situation can be bypassed. Amid the celebration of his engagement to US-born Meghan Markle, the Royal Family’s youngest, Prince Harry, won’t be faced with the threshold that 40 percent of Brits do today. Former Home Secretary Theresa Mary implemented an immigration rule that only allows those making upwards of 18,600 pounds to bring a non-EEA spouse or partner to the UK. This, as you can imagine, would undoubtedly narrow the marriage choices of a chunk of the population who found love in a land beyond.
Such a requirement leaves minimum wage workers and countless young residents who already face many responsibilities at a disadvantage. Even in London, where the higher salaries are earned in the UK, about 41 percent of non-white UK citizens and 21 percent of white citizens earn below the minimum requirement. These are significant numbers to consider, prior to Meghan Markle, who is set to be married into the Royal family.
In a system that pertains to the lives and welfare of people, economics shouldn’t be the only metric that is considered. The well-being of UK citizens was not weighed in this decision and should be taken into account. We should all have the privilege and right to marry who we choose, and not have our income determine such a significant life decision.
Though Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won’t face the hardships of such a policy, it’s resulted in the hardship and division of many families in the UK today. For every child included in this application, the price rises, thus leading to a further barrier for families trying to reunite. Up to 15,000 children are victims of this harsh system, most of which are British citizens. The children’s best interests are unfortunately not a primary focus and consideration here. This “harsh and uncompromising immigration system” lacks the humane consideration it deserves.
A grandmother and mother of two, Irene Clennell, faced this battle even while being married to a British citizen for 27 years. Upon living abroad with her family for a number of years, she faced immense difficulty to come back to the UK, and even after returning, she was deported, and only just reunited with her family after a multitude of appeals and attempts. Renowned Sky Sports presenter Johnny Nelson even faced the reality that his own brother, a UK resident of 53 years, is facing the battle to remain in the UK after losing his passport and indefinite leave to remain. This is a tragic circumstance that many are faced with today, just to even stay in the UK, let alone enjoy the free choice of who they can marry, and live with.
Economic standards should not be the prime determining factor in people’s life decisions. Despite our incomes, we should have the luxury of choosing, and having a life partner without a currency barrier. Worldwide, humans face the boundless challenges of life on a daily basis, however, we should not have to live without the ones our heart desires.
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