Freedom of movement within the EU will end when the UK leave Europe, says immigration minister Brandon Lewis.
The minister confirmed today, 27th July, that freedom of movement and labour would come to end by Spring 2019.
“Free movement of labor ends when we leave the European Union in the Spring of 2019. I’ll be very clear about that,” said Lewis in a BBC Radio Four interview.
He also restated Tory plans to cut net immigration to the tens of thousands, an aim the party have not yet achieved since coming into power in 2010. He refused to comment on whether this would be achieved within this parliament.
Lewis’ statements seem to run counter to recent Conservative assurances over a period of transition as Brexit is implemented.
Environment secretary Micheal Gove recently professed a Tory “pragmatic approach” to free movement of labour. This was echoed by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who promised an “implementation period” as the UK leaves the union.
In light of these plans, the Migration Advisory Committee has been commissioned by government to report on the impact on the UK labour market of the UK’s exit from the European Union and how the UK’s immigration system should be best restructured in terms of industry.
“Workers from across Europe strengthen our businesses and help our public services run more smoothly – any new migration system should protect these benefits while restoring public confidence,” said Confederation of British Industry deputy director Josh Hardie.
“Asking the Migration Advisory Committee to set out the facts is a sensible first step,” he added.
“Businesses need clear information to support their existing employees – and to know, right now, who they can hire with confidence over the coming years,” commented the British Chamber of Commerce.