Britain will end the free movement of labor immediately after Brexit and introduce restrictions to block the entry of low-skilled workers from the European Union and strip EU citizens of rights to bring family members to Britain, a leaked government paper suggests.
The UK Home Office documents set out how a new system would give London powers to refuse EU citizens entry and the right to work, and demand a minimum income level of anyone wishing to stay in Britain.
“Put plainly, this means that, to be considered valuable to the country as a whole, immigration should benefit not just the migrants themselves but also make existing residents better off,” the paper says.
The documents set out how a new system would give the government powers to refuse EU citizens entry and the right to work, and demand a minimum income level of anyone wishing to stay in the UK.
It proposes measures to reduce the number of lower-skilled EU migrants – offering them residency for a maximum of only two years. Those in “high-skilled occupations” will be granted permits to work for a longer period of three to five years.
Employers could also be forced to recruit Britons to certain jobs, while access would be denied to immigrants wanting to work in some low-skilled sectors, the document suggests.
The Guardian reports, “the document also describes a phased introduction to a new immigration system that ends the right to settle in Britain for most European migrants – and places tough new restrictions on their rights to bring in family members. Potentially, this could lead to thousands of families being split up.”
The document, which has been circulated around senior officials and ministers, has already provoked rows between cabinet ministers who are trying to balance the demands of British businesses wanting to retain free movement, and the views of hardline Brexiters.
The document could also provoke retaliation in EU countries who will feel the UK is intending to treat EU nationals as second-class citizens.
Nearly one million highly qualified European Union nationals working in Britain are planning to leave the country following last year’s Brexit referendum, a new study has found.
The survey, conducted by a Dutch professional service company, found that 55 percent of EU citizens with PhDs and 49 percent of those with postgraduate degrees had either decided to leave the UK or were considering it.