Home Office publishes white paper ending free movement

The Home Office has published the future skills-based immigration system white paper setting out the government’s plans to introduce a new single immigration system ending free movement after the UK leaves the EU.

In his statement to Parliament, Home Secretary Sajid Javid highlighted these key proposals and principles:

• the end of free movement

• a single immigration system for all nationalities

• a skills-based system, giving priority to those ‘with the skills we need’

Javid said the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill will be introduced on 20 December 2018 to implement the end of free movement. The Bill will subject EEA and Swiss nationals to UK immigration control and protect the status of Irish nationals so that in future anyone who is not a citizen of the UK or Ireland ‘will need to get UK permission before they can come here’.

The skills-based migration policy follows the advice of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). The government has partially accepted the MAC’s recommendation to maintain the current minimum salary threshold of £30,000 and fully accepted recommendations including:

• making it easier for higher skilled workers to migrate to the UK than lower skilled workers

• giving no preference for UK citizens on the assumption that UK immigration policy is not included in an agreement with the EU

• retaining, but reviewing the Immigration Skills Charge

• reviewing how the current sponsor licensing system works for small and medium-sized


• consulting more systematically with users of the visa system to ensure it works as smoothly as possible

Source: Policy Paper: The UK’s future skills-based immigration system , LexisNexis

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