Downing Street has confirmed that the proposals for the UK’s post-Brexit immigration policy will be published ‘in the coming months’.
The official policy document was expected to be published last autumn, with the bill being brought forward in the New Year, in accordance with the Immigration Minister’s declaration in October 2017. However, the Prime Minister’s spokesman recently confirmed that Ministers were ‘confident’ that by the time the UK leaves the EU, the new system would be in place.
The Immigration Bill could potentially enable the Government to end the free movement of EU nationals in the UK if no agreement is reached between the UK and the EU. In February this year, the Home Affairs Committee noted that this delay might cause ‘anxiety for EU citizens in the UK, uncertainty for UK businesses and concern in Parliament’.
Despite all the concerns, the Home Office is of the opinion that the Immigration Bill will not be needed during the transition period and that the bill should be ‘brought forward when Parliamentary time allows’. The Home Office therefore believes that the bill will not be required before December 2020.
The delay in publishing the document is said to be down to the complicated process by which the MPs are endeavoring to consider ‘a range of options for the future immigration system which will be based on the evidence’.
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