Post Brexit – taking back control
Under the ‘freedom of movement ‘ principle EU citizens had the right to work in any member state and access social services, healthcare and education in the same way as citizens of the host country.
There are an estimated 3 million EU citizens in the UK and 1 million UK citizens in the EU. The opening position of both sides to the Brexit negotiations is that the status and rights of these groups must be protected.
EU citizens now make up 10% of the UK workforce, with a much higher percentage in the NHS, construction, food manufacture, agriculture and hospitality.
In the white paper published in February 2017, the Conservative Government declared that it will ‘take back control of inward migration from the EU’. It has set an extremely challenging target – to reduce immigration to ‘tens of thousands’ per year – the white paper identified immigration in 2016 = 363,000.
To achieve a reduction in immigration the UK Government will have to consider:
- The status of the 3 million EU citizens in the UK
- Future systems for the control of immigration the EU
- How the new regime will be enforced particularly at the external borders