Freedom of movement will end in March 2019, but Amber Rudd insists there will be no "cliff edge"

 
Helen Cahill
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Hold onto your hats, Brexit is coming. (Source: Getty)

The freedom of movement of EU citizens across the UK border will end in March 2019, the government confirmed today, as it outlined how it will arrive at its new immigration policy.

There has been uncertainty over whether freedom of movement will continue, with some speculating that it might be prolonged as part of a transitional phase following Brexit.

Immigration minister Brandon Lewis told the BBC today:

Free movement of labour ends when we leave the European Union in the spring of 2019. I'll be very clear about that.

However, home secretary Amber Rudd has pledged businesses will not face a "cliff edge" over immigration.

Read more: Treasury watchdog Nicky Morgan wants jobs prioritised in Brexit talks

Rudd has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to carry out an analysis of the contributions and costs of EU citizens in Britain, which she said will inform new policy.

MAC has been tasked with collecting the views of businesses, and stakeholders in the separate regions of the UK. Its report is expected to come out in September 2018, six months before Brexit.

Rudd has promised the new policy on EU migrants will be "evidence-based".

She added that in the period between the report's publication and the finalising of the UK's migration policy there will be an "implementation phase" when new EU workers arriving in the UK will have to register their personal details.

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