Today (14 March), the European Commission sent a "reasoned opinion", the second stage of the infringement procedure, requesting the UK “to amend its rules on local real estate taxes for students, on the basis that they discriminate against students subject to UK council taxes but studying in another Member State.” According to the Commission the UK's community taxes legislation “discriminate against students living in the UK who choose to undertake their studies elsewhere in the EU, and to restrict their right to move and reside freely within the EU as provided by Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.” Therefore, the Commission believes, the UK has infringed EU law on free movement of people.
Consequently, the UK has two months to amend its legislation, complying with the Commission demands, otherwise the Commission may refer the issue to the ECJ.
The Commission also requested the UK, in the form of “reasoned opinion”, to communicate national implementing measures regarding Common Safety Indicators for railways. Under the Directive on safety on the Community's railways, member states are required to collect information on Common Safety Indicators. The Commission Directive 2009/149/EC amended this Directive as regards Common Safety Indicators and common methods to calculate accident costs. According to the Commission the UK has failed to inform the Commission of all the measures implementing the abovementioned directive.
Hence, the UK has two months to comply with the “reasoned opinion” and to notify to the Commission the measures it has taken to implement the Directive, failing this, the Commission refer the case to the ECJ.
The ECJ may fine the UK if it fails to bring national legislation into line with EU legislation.