Last week (July 31) Downing Street announced that there will be no transition period for the free movement of people between the United Kingdom and the European Union. From March 2019 onwards, workers who intend to settle across the Channel will have to register. The measure is going to be mandatory until a more comprehensive immigration is set out.
British authorities acknowledge the positive contribution of foreign workers to the country’s economy. This is the reason why the Home Office minister Brandon Lewis solicited a study on the “economic and social costs and benefits of EU migration to the UK economy” to the Migration Advisory Committee. The government wants to have a clear picture of immigration, how does it boosts competitiveness and to assess if London should focus on a system that privileges only highly qualified professionals. The paper shall be made publicly available by September 2018.
According to Mr. Lewis, during an interview to the BBC: it was a “simple matter of fact” that EU free movement rules would not apply after 2019. While his colleague, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd stated as follows:
We will ensure we continue to attract those who benefit us economically, socially and culturally.[…] But, at the same time, our new immigration system will give us control of the volume of people coming here – giving the public confidence we are applying our own rules on who we want to come to the UK and helping us to bring down net migration to sustainable levels.
In times of tough negotiations behind closed doors, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt expressed that British authorities have reached a common ground on two things, first that the UK gets control on “laws, border, and money”; second, that the nation becomes more a global actor than a insular country.