EU nationals that live and work in the UK will no longer have freedom of movement in the UK should the UK leave with a no-deal Brexit.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said, “Freedom of movement as it currently stands will end on 31 October when the UK leaves the EU.
“So, for example we will introduce, immediately, much tougher criminality rules for people entering the UK.”
Boris Johnson said that the UK under his government will not “become remotely hostile to immigration or immigrants.”
Originally Theresa May’s government had agreed under the withdrawal agreement that freedom of movement would have stayed for a two-year transition period.
The spokeswoman said, “The Home Office have set out that no one eligible for settled status will be unable to re-enter the UK when free movement ends and they have obviously been doing a significant amount of work to communicate how you apply,”
EU citizens who have the right to permanent residence in the UK will not be affected. Johnson wants to implement an Australian style points system based on immigration and UK needs after Brexit.
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Sir Ed Davey told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme, “This is increasing uncertainty for all employers and I think could be highly damaging for people using the NHS or depend on the services of a business that has EU workers.”
He said that the government “hasn’t even said what they’d put in its place.” He added, “This is chaos gone mad. Priti Patel is almost setting fire to the British economy and British public services.”
The 3 Million group, which campaigns for the rights of EU citizens in the UK, said in a statement, “The idea of ending freedom of movement abruptly on October 31 in case of no-deal is reckless politics.
“It hollows out the Prime Minister’s unequivocal guarantee to EU citizens he has given only three weeks ago.
“Ending freedom of movement without putting legal provisions in place for those EU citizens who have not yet successfully applied through the settlement scheme will mean that millions of lawful citizens will have their legal status removed overnight.
“We have been calling for the settlement scheme to be a declaratory registration scheme, so all EU citizens who have made the UK their home are automatically granted status, as promised by those in Government.
“Otherwise this will open the door to mass discrimination under the hostile environment with employers, landlords, banks and the NHS unable to distinguish between those EU citizens with the right to live and work in the UK and those without.”