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No comment on end of free movement

News | Published:

THE External Relations Department has refused to comment on leaked documents which indicate that the UK will end freedom of movement of labour immediately after Brexit.

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Last week the Guardian newspaper published an 82-page paper, which it says was leaked from the Home Office and sets out aims to introduce restrictions to deter all but highly-skilled workers from coming to the UK as soon as it leaves the EU.

Measures outlined in the document include introducing a two-year work permit for lower-skilled migrants, while those working in ‘high-skilled occupations’ would be eligible for a permit for a period of three to five years.

When asked whether such a move would affect Jersey as a member of the Common Travel Area [an area of free movement between the UK, Ireland and the Crown Dependencies – Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man], the External Relations Department declined to comment.

‘We will not be offering a comment on the content of leaked papers,’ a spokesman said.

He added, however, that he would like to reassure EU migrants living in the Island that the government would fight to preserve their rights to live and work here.

‘We reiterate that economically, socially and culturally, Jersey benefits greatly from the contribution of the approximately 15,000 non-British EU citizens resident in the Island.

‘From the outset, therefore, the Government of Jersey has been clear about its desire to guarantee the position of EU citizens in Jersey at the earliest possible stage, as well as to preserve the position of Jersey people resident in the EU,’ he said.

The leaked document also indicates that visitors to the UK from the EU would need to produce their passports post-Brexit rather than just relying on their national identity cards as they do at present.

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