Free movement to the UK could continue after Brexit during period of transition
April 5, 2017

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has suggested that EU citizens could continue to move freely to Britain for years after Brexit, with plans being drawn up for a transitional period once negotiations come to an end. In response to whether free movement would end on 29 March 2019 (the date when Brexit negotiations are timetabled to formally come to an end), Mrs May indicated that “a period of time when businesses and government are adjusting to systems” could be necessary. This coincides with the Government white paper on Brexit which was published in February, detailing plans for Britain to deploy an “implementation phase” that would bridge the gap between the country leaving the union and a new permanent UK-EU trade deal coming into effect. Mrs May told news reporters yesterday “if you think about it, once we’ve got the deal, once we’ve agreed what the new relationship will be for the future, it will be necessary for there to be a period of time when businesses and government are adjusting to systems and so forth, depending on the nature of the deal, but a period of time when that deal will be implemented.” Mrs May, pre-empting criticism from those who backed Brexit in last year’s referendum, also added: “What is crucial for the British public, what was part of the vote they took last year, is that they want to ensure that we can control our borders and control our immigration, and we will do when we come out of the EU.”

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