Author: KATIE WESTON
Italy: EU commissioners REJECT budget proposal
Jacob Rees-Mogg challenged Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes over “taking back control” of the UK’s borders after leaving the EU, during a House of Commons debate earlier today.
Mr Nokes affirmed Brexit would bring an end to free movement.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “It is very important that the Government is generous and treats properly everybody who has come here lawfully up until the day that we leave.
“But would my honourable friend also agree it’s extremely important that once we have left, we take back control of our borders?”
To which the Immigration Minister replied: “I thank my honourable friend for the question, he will of course have heard the Prime Minister’s clear statement on this.
“As part of Brexit we will end free movement, which will give us back the control of our borders that I believe people voted for in 2016, and I know my honourable friend wants.”
Ms Nokes recently revealed that it would be an “almost impossible” job for employers to know which EU citizens of their staff can remain in the country after the UK’s exit.
Ms Nokes told firms they would be expected to carry out “adequately rigorous checks” but gave no further clarity on what the government would expect of a business to ensure workers are in the UK legitimately.
The Immigration Minister came under pressure after she said EU citizens would have to “evidence” their right to work in the UK after March 29 2019.
She said: “If somebody has been through the settled status scheme they would be able to evidence that.
“If somebody hasn’t been here prior to the end of March next year, employers will have to make sure they go through adequately rigorous checks to evidence somebody’s right to work.”
Committee members raised concerns that with just five months to go before the nation exits the bloc, a registration process is yet to be rolled out.
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This forced Ms Nokes to acknowledge employers may struggle to establish whether a prospective EU worker is a long-term resident if they have not yet obtained the status that confirms their right to live and work in the UK.
She said: “It would pose a challenge to government and indeed employers in differentiating between those two groups of people.
“You are absolutely right to point out that somebody who has been here for ten years and has simply not yet been through the scheme, it will be almost impossible for an employer to differentiate between them and somebody who is a new arrival.
“We are quite clear that this is absolutely one of the conundrums employers will face – that people who have rights under the settled status scheme but haven’t yet gone through the process to evidence that.”