EU Immigration 'Likely to Continue For Some Years' After Brexit

World » EU | May 4, 2017, Thursday // 09:59
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European Union citizens will be free to come to the UK for several years after Brexit despite repeated promises from leave campaigners that restrictions would be swiftly introduced, a Whitehall thinktank has found, writes The Guardian.

A report released on Thursday by the Institute for Government (IfG) warns ministers it will be “unfeasible” to create a new immigration system by April 2019 at the end of the two-year deadline when Britain plans to leave the EU.

An end to EU immigration was a major concern among leave voters and forms a key part of Theresa May’s negotiating priorities. During the referendum campaign, David Davis – now Brexit secretary – said Britain must end its “disastrous” immigration policy.

The scale of the administrative challenge is too great and the current immigration system should be kept until a replacement is ready to avoid disruptive changes to labour markets, the think tank has concluded.

It also found the current process for registering EU nationals was “not fit for purpose” and the Home Office could require up to 5,000 extra civil servants to cope with large numbers of applications and appeals.

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