UK-EU freedom of movement will end in 2019

An AFP file photo of UK Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis (L) and Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

UK government ministers have said that the free movement of people between Britain and the European Union will end in March 2019.

UK Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis told the BBC that the government is “very clear” that “free movement of labor ends when we leave the European Union in the spring of 2019.”

It was a “simple matter of fact” that EU free movement rules would not apply after 2019, Lewis said.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said after March 2019, EU workers moving to Britain will have to register, at least until a permanent post-Brexit immigration policy is implemented.

Rudd said the “implementation phase” would involve new EU workers registering their details when they come to the UK.”

“We will ensure we continue to attract those who benefit us economically, socially and culturally,” she added.

“But, at the same time, our new immigration system will give us control of the volume of people coming here – giving the public confidence we are applying our own rules on who we want to come to the UK and helping us to bring down net migration to sustainable levels.”

The UK is currently due to leave the EU at the end of March 2019. Immigration was one of the central topics of last year’s Brexit referendum, which resulted in 52 percent of voters voting in favor of leaving the EU.

British finance minister Philip Hammond said Friday that the Brexit transition could last until 2022 and the UK will try to keep as many aspects of its EU membership in place as possible.

UK and EU negotiators held their first full round of Brexit talks earlier this month. The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says that both sides still have “fundamental” differences remaining.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said last week that there is a “moral imperative” to reach a quick deal on the rights of EU nationals living in Britain and UK citizens in the bloc.

By Africafrique and agencies

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