UK-EU freedom of movement to end in 2019

Freedom of movement between the UK and other EU nations will cease to exist in 2019, a UK Immigration Minister announced yesterday.

Speaking to Radio 4’s Today Programme yesterday, Brandon Lewis confirmed that the current freedom of movement agreement that the UK has with other EU nation states will end once Britain leaves the EU.

“Free movement of labour ends when we leave the European Union in the spring of 2019,” he said. “I’ll be very clear about that. Obviously, there’s a period of negotiation we’re undergoing with the European Union at the moment, but we’re very clear that free movement ends – it’s part of the four key principles of the European Union – when we leave.”

However, Lewis’s words have contradicted what some other Tory Ministers have said. Including Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who earlier this week commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee, to undertake an in-depth study of the current immigration system.

“In her letter to the committee, she wrote: “As part of a smooth and orderly transition as we leave the EU, the second phase of our immigration proposals is based on a temporary implementation period to ensure there is no cliff-edge on the UK’s departure for employers or individuals … during this period there will also be a straightforward system for the registration and documentation of new arrivals.”

Lewis, who is a Junior Minister to Rudd, stated that details of how the government would manage immigration after Brexit would be revealed in a white paper later this year, and that the immigration bill would go through Parliament in 2018.

However, he insisted that it was a “simple matter of fact” that EU freedom of movement rules would not apply after 2019.

Article published 28th July 2017