The new prime minister’s tough stance has big implications for a host of industries | Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images
Boris Johnson insists free movement ’will end’ October 31
Critics say government not prepared to implement new immigration system in less than three months.
Updated 8/19/19, 5:20 PM CET
LONDON — Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit immigration plan is still “being developed” but he insisted today that freedom of movement “will end” on October 31.
At a regular briefing for journalists, a spokeswoman for the prime minister said “tougher criminality rules” for people entering the U.K. would be immediately introduced, as one example of how the U.K.’s immigration policy would shift from day one after Brexit.
Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May had been planning a “transition” period until the end of 2020 during which the U.K. would continue to have the same obligations as an EU country, under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU27. That deal was voted down by parliament and Johnson has called for it to be reopened.
The new prime minister’s tough stance has big implications for a host of industries reliant on workers from abroad such as the farming sector and the National Health Service, and would require immediate changes to immigration checks at airports and ports.
The spokeswoman said the government’s settled status scheme, which May’s government set up to guarantee that EU nationals living in the U.K. before the end of 2020 are able to remain in the U.K. indefinitely, would continue as it had previously been announced.