In what could be a major U-turn of the current plans, EU immigration during transition could be permitted by the UK government. Leading newspapers such as The Times and The Guardian cited anonymous sources and said that if the EU exit is operational by 2019, the transition period could range between 2-4 years.
A senior source of the UK government said to The Guardian that businesses in the UK would like to see this being agreed instantly. On the other hand, a UK source in affinity to EU talks in Brussels was quoted by The Times.
Reduction of EU immigration was the key debate for the Leave campaigners in the referendum held in June 2016. In this referendum, the UK voted to end its 40 years association with the EU, as quoted by the Indian Express.
The annual EU immigration numbers to the UK is around 250, 000. These are mainly from Southern and Eastern Europe and almost 3.2 million reside in the UK.
Theresa May’s government is divided by an internal strife between ‘Hard Brexit’ and ‘Soft Brexit’ supporters. Even though the UK exits the EU, free EU immigration will permit enhanced access to the EU single market.
The UK’s big business lobby The Confederation of British Industry has demanded that the UK retains access to EU single market at any stage of transition.
Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI leader was amongst the business leaders who held a dialogue with Theresa May at Downing Street. This was after many businesses in the UK complained about ambiguity in the government’s Brexit plan.
May reinforced that the wider goal of the government is to ensure a smooth and organized exit that would result in broader free deals with the EU. It also aims to not to have any friction in the execution period, added a spokesperson at the Downing Street.
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