The Government has changed its position on the rights of EU migrants arriving during the Brexit transition period and will now allow them the right to settle in the UK.
In a Brexit policy paper published by the Home Office and the Department for Exiting the European Union, the Government states that EU citizens and their family members will be able to move to the UK during the implementation period on “the same basis as they do today”.
It adds: “This means that there will be no new constraints on working or studying in the UK in the implementation period. This will also be the case for UK nationals moving to the EU during this period.”
The paper also states that migrants from the EU arriving after March 2019 will be eligible for a five-year temporary residency permit. Previously, the Government had committed to two years.
New EU migrants who arrive in Britain after the transition period begins, however, will not have the same rights to bring family to join them as EU nationals already resident who have secured “settled status”. Instead, they will have to pass a minimum income threshold test.
In readiness for the end of the implementation period, the Government says it put in place a new immigration framework.
The policy paper states: “Leaving the EU does not mean the end of migration between the EU and the UK. The new framework will therefore be designed to support the UK economy, enable businesses and key public sector workforces such as the NHS to access the skills they need, and underpin our trading relationships with partners in Europe and around the world.”
The Government has commissioned Migration Advisory Committee to report on EU migration this September.
Earlier today in the House of Commons, Theresa May rejected a draft withdrawal agreement from the EU proposing a “common regulatory area” on the island of Ireland, in effect keeping Northern Ireland in the customs union.