New British Home Secretary, Priti Patel wants free movement for European Union citizens restricted immediately on 31 October, despite there being no replacement yet.
This would mean that Free movement for EU citizens will end on day one of a no-deal Brexit, under new Home Office plans – despite warnings of chaos and of people trapped in legal limbo.
Previously, ministers had intended to delay scrapping free movement until new rules are in place, with a bill stuck in the Commons and fierce rows over what those rules should be.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The home secretary has been clear in her intention to take back control of our borders and end free movement after 31 October.
“Ending free movement means we are no longer required to give unlimited and uncontrolled access to those from EU countries when they are coming here seeking to work.”
The new plan may be viewed as part of efforts to force the EU into reopening Brexit negotiations, by signalling an uncompromising stance that would also cause huge upheaval across the Channel.