Brexit statement due from PM
May to announce clampdown on EU migration
Prime Minister Theresa May will announce restrictions next month on migrants entering Britain in what will be seen as a commitment to Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
However, her plan to remove the automatic right to stay in the UK will cause concerns for businesses which depend on a free flow of immigrant labour.
Mrs May is said to be preparing a statement on the same day that she formally triggers Britain’s application to leave the EU via Article 50.
It is thought that the Prime Minister’s plans include a new visa regime and restricted access to benefits.
Iain Duncan Smith, one of the leading pro-Brexiteers, told the Daily Telegraph that the announcement will show that Mrs May is taking control of Britain’s borders while giving clarity to the 3.6million EU migrants already living in the UK.
He said: “Theresa understands that if you want to take control you have to command the high ground. She will be giving clarity by setting a clear deadline while the European Union looks increasingly muddled and mean-spirited”.
The plan sparked a backlash from the SNP. Roseanna Cunningham, the Scottish Environment Secretary, tweeted: “This is utter madness: May to announce end of free movement for new EU migrants next month.”
Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, has said that once Britain leaves the European Union “we will be ending free movement as we know it”.
However, David Davis, the Secretary of State for Leaving the EU, has eased concerns that the door will suddenly be shut on EU migrants. He has said that it will take “years” for Britain to fill all the jobs that would otherwise have been done by EU migrants.