EU migrants will be allowed to come to Britain for up to three years to work, visit or study in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the government admitted on Wednesday (4).
This deal will allow EU citizens arriving in the UK before the cut-off date to remain in the country until December 31 2023.
Patel announced on Wednesday that new border controls will be introduced to make it easier to block EU criminals and extremists from coming into the country.
Patel said: “On October 31, we will leave the EU come what may. Introducing tougher checks and ending free movement as it currently stands will allow us to take the first, historic steps towards taking back control of our borders.
“In the future, we will introduce a new points-based immigration system built around the skills and talent people have – not where they are from.”
Earlier, home secretary Priti Patel had announced a proposal to end free movement altogether on November 1 in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However, the government was forced to abandon the plan fearing legal action from EU nationals already residents in the UK.
Criticising Patel’s move, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokeswoman Christine Jardine said Brexit will create another Windrush-style scandal for EU citizens.
“Instead of taking away the rights of the 3.6 million EU citizens in the UK at the end of 2020, the Conservatives now want to take away their rights at the end of 2023. That’s hardly much better,” she was quoted as saying by The Independent.
“This plan will only cause huge confusion and uncertainty. How will employers – or even the Home Office – be able to tell who was here before the end of 2020 and who moved here afterwards? That’s why EU citizens are so worried.
“If Boris Johnson really cared about keeping his promise to EU citizens in the UK, he would pass the legislation the Liberal Democrats have put forward to guarantee their rights permanently in law.”