Britain eyes restricting EU workers
8 September, 2017
Britain prepares plan to restrict residency rights of EU workers after Brexit, all but wiping out freedom of movement, according to a paper leaked to The Guardian newspaper. Dated early August, the paper introduces restrictions to drive down the numbers of low-skilled workers in the UK and to generally deter EU workers, unless they were highly skilled.
It offers low-skilled EU workers a maximum of two years' residency. High-skilled workers could obtain work permits for three to five years. Some jobs could have caps placed on them under the new proposals, while other occupations may become out of reach for EU workers completely.
The new system outlined by the paper ends the right to settle, or live permanently in Britain, for most EU workers. The paper says “to be considered valuable to the country as a whole, immigration should benefit not just the migrants themselves but also make existing residents better off.”
The draft proposals also place tough restrictions on bringing in family members. There would be a threshold of at least £18,600 (€20,300) income per year for EU citizens to be able to bring their spouse from outside the EU - a rule already in place for British citizens.