Home Secretary's proposals would disrupt UK border controls

Free movement is one of the greatest achievements of the European Union - it is a tragedy that it will end for UK citizens on 31 October if Britain leaves the EU.

Ending free movement will require a new system to be phased in and this will take time.

That is why New Europeans is so concerned about the Home Secretary's intention to end free movement overnight on 31 October.

We are also concerned that the statement flies in the face of previous attempts by the govenrment to reassure EU27 citizens in the UK that life would contiue unchanged.

UK to end free movement of EU citizens on day one of Brexit under new government plan

The UK is not ready to implement such an aggressive and abrupt change in the system.

We fear it would result in long delays at ports and airports for all passengers moving in and out of the UK.

There are over 3.4m EU citizens in Britain and the government has promised to secure their right to stay through its  settled or pre-settled status scheme.​

How will border officials know which EU citizens are already resident in the UK and therefore still entitled to enter Britain freely?

What will happen at the border with EU citizens who are entitled to settled or pre-settled status but have not yet applied? 

Will they have to apply for this status before they will be allowed to re-enter the UK?

Free movement is a two-way street. British citizens may face additional checks when travelling to continental Europe.

How about Britons who are living and working in the EU?  Their status may be jeopardised by the actions of the Home Secretary if EU member states fail to secure their right to stay before the 31 October.

Without a physical proof of their status EU citizens in the UK and Britons abroad may face discrimination due to a misperception about their residency rights.

That is why it is essential that the EU and UK agree an #EUGreenCard scheme as soon as possible, as proposed by New Europeans.

In practice, ending free movement will have to take place step by step  as new measures to regulate the movement of people between the UK and the EU are brought in.

To claim otherwise is nothing more than political posturing. To implement such a policy would be hugely disruptive. To pass the legislation above the heads of parliamentarians would be draconian.

We strongly oppose the Home Secretary's proposal and urge MPs to do the same. 


New Europeans

New Europeans was set up in 2013 to champion freedom of movement and our rights as EU citizens.

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