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Leaked document on Post Brexit Immigration

07 September 2017 #Immigration

The Guardian has obtained a copy of a leaked document setting out the government’s proposals on post-Brexit immigration. The detailed proposals, drafted by Home Official officials, confirm that free movement of labour will end immediately after Brexit and restrictions will be introduced to deter all but highly skilled EU workers. Some MP’s have criticised the government’s approach as “mean and cynical” but Theresa May, this afternoon, defended the idea of new controls on EU nationals.

Key points

The government recognises that implementing a new immigration system will “take time” and expects to make changes “gradually” so that employers and individuals are able to adapt.

We outline below key points below:

  • Changes to the current immigration system will take place in 3 distinct phases:
  1. Phase 1: this will introduce an immigration bill which will bring EU migration within a UK legal framework and MAC will be commissioned to advise
  2. Phase 2: this will introduce a ‘temporary implementation period’ to provide a “smooth” exit for employers and individuals
  3. Phase 3: this will introduce new rules to control temporary and permanent migration
  • EU nationals will need to produce their passports when entering the UK, identity cards will no longer be acceptable
  • EU citizens who arrive after the implementation period (phase 2) will be required to register with the Home Office to obtain permission to reside and there may be changes to family reunion rules
  • Those applying for residence permits will need to give their fingerprints
  • A new system for EU nationals appears to look like the UK’s current immigration system in that EU nationals wanting to work in the UK would need permission beforehand and employers would need to recruit locally first (currently satisfy the resident labour market test)
  • Possible introduction of an income threshold for self-sufficient EU nationals wanting to live in the UK
  • A tougher regime restricting residency to partners, children under 18, adult dependent relatives – unmarried partners (those in ‘durable’ relationships) will no longer qualify as a ‘family member’
  • During phase 3, residency permits will be granted for 2 years unless the EU national would be working a ‘highly skilled occupation’ – then they would be granted a permit lasting between 3-5 years

The 82 page leaked document puts a “Britain first” attitude forward and ignores the need for migrant labour in sectors such as hospitality, health and farming. Arguably, it is very much in line with the government’s current immigration policy – to create a hostile environment to encourage migrants to live elsewhere. We are not sure what the Migration Advisory Committee will be commissioned for, given the proposals are detailed and the government seems to already have a good idea of what a new system will look like.

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Afeefah Shabbir

Afeefah Shabbir
Business Immigration Solicitor

E: ashabbir@clarkslegal.com
T: 0207 539 8009
M: 0777 581 5811