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EU freedom of movement as we know it will end in 2019

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Ever since last summer’s vote for the UK to leave the European Union, freedom of movement has become one of the most divisive topics.

Debate has raged over whether the current system, whereby EU nationals are free to move to and from the UK, should be allowed to continue when Brexit finally goes through.

And now it seems inevitable that the current set-up will not be in place for much longer.

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A spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed today that freedom of movement will not continue ‘as it is now’.

James Slack told reporters that the current system is not expected to remain in place beyond spring 2019, though further specifics remain to be decided.

"We have said that it will take time to get immigration numbers down but we are committed to doing so," Slack is quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

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Last week, Chancellor Philip Hammond suggested there could be a transitional agreement in the immediate aftermath of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

However, while this may be the case with regards to other aspects of the country’s membership, immigration policy may be a little different.

It follows comments over the weekend from International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, where he claimed sustained freedom of movement would “not keep faith” with the results of last year’s referendum.

As the BBC notes, work has already begun on establishing a process for the registration of any migrants arriving in the UK after March 2019.

(Images: Rex Features)

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