Free UK-EU movement to end in March 2019

Free UK-EU movement to end in March 2019”

Ministers have so far said little about the kind of immigration system they want to replace the EU's freedom of movement rules, leaving companies and workers in limbo and forcing some to make alternative plans.

The MAC's chairman, Prof Alan Manning, has been asked to produce interim reports to guide Home Office officials attempting to draw up a post-Brexit immigration regime that will bring an end to free movement but will not cause economic damage or vital skills shortages.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd's comments indicating that the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) will carry out an assessment of the role of migration in the United Kingdom labour market have met with reaction from the recruitment and HR industry.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has also previously warned that Brexit negotiations, which will include the UK's new migration arrangements with the bloc, will need to be wrapped up by October 2018.

What will the experts report on?

Rudd's study will focus on patterns of migration from Europe, considering factors such as regional distribution, skill levels, and seasonal workers.

Earlier this month, three professors from the universities of London, Essex, and Cardiff, wrote a critical report about the government's food policy.

The Financial Times understands that in addition to the consultation, there is to be a "cross-government programme" of engagement with business, industry, trade unions and educational institutions over the coming months.

Rudd said: "We will ensure we continue to attract those who benefit us economically, socially and culturally".

"I also want to reassure businesses and European Union nationals that we will ensure there is no "cliff edge" once we leave the bloc", Rudd said.

What is the reaction to the study?

Meanwhile, Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market analyst at the CIPD, commented: "Employers looking to hire workers from inside the European Union must respond now to the prospect of migration restrictions or face the consequences of recruitment difficulties in the future".

However questions have been raised on why it has taken until now to commission an assessment on one of the central issues of Brexit.

Another opposition MP, Ed Davey, from the Liberal Democrat party, said: "The government needs to explain why this study wasn't commissioned a year ago, directly after the referendum".

"There's been too much heat and not enough light on migration issues".

The MAC study is due to look at which sector are most reliant on EU labour, the economic and social costs and benefits of EU migration to the economy, the possible impact of reduced EU migration and the ways in which both businesses and the Government can adjust to the change.

Josh Hardie, deputy director general of business organisation the CBI, welcomed the move as a "sensible first step" to give firms guidance, adding: "Businesses urgently need to know what a new system will look like - during transition and afterwards".

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