SOME but not all mainstream newspapers or TV channels in the UK are reporting that Prime Minister Theresa May intends to use the trigger date for Article 50 to effectively reduce rights of residency in the UK for EU nationals.
The suggestion is that any EU national who was living in the UK prior to that date would retain the right to live and work in the UK – provided that the same rights apply to UK nationals in EU States – whilst any who arrive after would not.
This is not in accord with the expectations of the European Union as its lawyers and politicians believe that no change can or should be implemented until Britain has actually left the Union.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd who was interviewed on ITV, said that although no final decision has been made “What I can confirm is we will be ending freedom of movement as we know it. Otherwise we’re looking at all sorts of different alternatives.”
It would appear that the government is worried that the next two years could see an influx of migrants, in particular from Bulgaria and Romania if there is to be a two year time scale and therefore tightening up now could be a very attractive option for Britain.
One possibility being floated is that EU nationals will be allowed to enter the UK after Article 50 is triggered but they would be issued medium term work permits and would not be allowed the automatic right to claim benefits of any sort.
At the moment, speculation and supposition are rife, but the concept of introducing restrictions of some type to newcomers does have a ring of truth about it, although the actual terms are certainly far from certain.