The British government intends to end free movement of labour as soon as March 2019, when the UK will formally leave the EU. without any transition period.
According to a Guardian report on Tuesday, a leaked plan of the British government entails no provision for a transitional period regarding the movement of labour. However, there are provisions to facilitate skilled EU migration. Moreover, for EU citizens already living in the UK, family reunification will become significantly more difficult.
The plan has not yet been endorsed by Theresa May, although the British prime minister has confirmed on more than one occasion that ending EU migration is a priority. Even as a Home Secretary in David Cameron’s cabinet, PTheresa May had a reputation for vehemently fighting immigration, including student visas.
Business stakeholders have expressed concerns about the supply of both skilled and unskilled migrants after Brexit.
The government spokesman on Tuesday refused to comment on a leaked document. The UK government is expected to put forward its official proposal this autumn.
Net EU migration to the UK – the difference between those coming from those leaving – has dropped by 51,000 people since August 2016. The biggest wave of departures was from citizens of EU states that joined between 2004 and 2007, namely the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia.