On Monday 9 November, the UK passed the Immigration Bill to end free movement from 31 December.
It gives the United Kingdom the power to determine who is allowed to enter the country for the first time in decades. The passing of the bill is another step in preparation for the UK’s split from the European Union.
What is Freedom of Movement?
Freedom of Movement refers to the free movement of workers enshrined in EU legislations.
Article 45 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union means that EU citizens are entitled to look for a job in another EU country, work there without needing a work permit, and reside there for that purpose.
EU citizens are also able to stay in that country after employment has finished, and enjoy equal treatment with nationals of that country in access to employment, working conditions and all other social tax advantages.
How will the end of freedom of movement affect me?
From 31 December, UK citizens will longer have the right of freedom of movement within the EU. This means it will not be an option for UK citizens to live, work, travel and retire freely across the European Union.
All EU law, across all policy areas, will still be applicable to and in the United Kingdom during the transition period, with the current foreseen end date of that period being 31 December 2020.
UK nationals who are currently residing in an EU country after exercising their rights to free movement will have the right to remain under the same conditions. These rights are protected, regardless of whether they have acquired permanent residence or not.
The bill also means EU citizens living in the UK will now be living under domestic immigration law.
What is the Immigration Bill?
In the Queen’s Speech to Parliament in 2017, Her Majesty outlined the introduction of an Immigration Bill to facilitate new national immigration policies.
These policies would end free movement of EU citizens to the UK, and make the migration of EU nations and their families subject to UK law after Brexit.
The bill is part of the UK’s move into introducing a new points-based immigration system. Under the system anyone coming to the UK for work must meet a specific set of requirements for which they will score points.
Visas are then awarded to those who gain enough points.