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Downing St: Free movement will end in March 2019

John Ashmore

2 min read

Downing St has made clear that free movement of EU citizens to the UK will come to an end in March 2019.

The remarks from the Prime Minister’s spokesman this morning follow a series of reports of Cabinet splits on the key issues of post-Brexit migration.

There was also the hint of a slapdown to warring colleagues with Downing St saying it would be "wrong to speculate" on what future arrangements will look like.

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has said he envisages a “transitional period” of up to three years following the end of the Article 50 negotiating period.

But International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has pointedly said he had not been consulted on any agreement.

He told the Sunday Times yesterday: "If there have been discussions on that I have not been party to them. I have not been involved in any discussions on that."

At a briefing for reporters this morning, the Downing St spokesman backed up the comments made by Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis last week, when he said that free movement as it currently operates will end in the spring of 2019.


"Free movement will end in March 2019," the spokesman said.

"We have published proposals on citizens' rights. Last week, the Home Secretary said there will be a registration system for migrants arriving post-March 2019.

"Other elements of the post-Brexit immigration system will be brought forward in due course, it would be wrong to speculate on what these might look like or to suggest that free movement will continue as it is now."

Last week Mr Lewis said it was a "simple matter of fact" that free movement from the EU to the UK and vice versa would come to an end in 19 months' time. 

The Home Office has asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee to look into how a new migration system might be designed, while Home Secretary Amber Rudd has sought to reassure businesses that there will not be a "cliff-edge" when Britain leaves the bloc.

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