With just under one year to go until the UK’s scheduled withdrawal from the EU on 29 March 2019, the UK Government has a lot of work left to do. Despite a series of announcements and a draft agreement on the rights of EU nationals currently in the UK, we are still in the dark as to the immigration system that will be implemented for EU nationals arriving in the UK post-Brexit.
The most up-to-date indication of the Government’s intentions can be found in a draft Home Office paper, leaked in September 2017. This leaked paper commits to ending freedom of movement and explores alternative immigration systems for EU nationals.
LCHR has previously explored the pros and cons of freedom of movement. We noted that whilst it is desirable in terms of facilitating economic and cultural exchange between member states, it is not without its pitfalls. In particular, it discriminates based on nationality between EU nationals who benefit from freedom of movement and non-EU nationals who are subject to the stringent requirements of domestic UK immigration law and policy.
The design and implementation of the new immigration system for EU nationals can be used as an opportunity to address some of the key failings with the existing immigration system for non-EU nationals.