Great Britain has said that it will abide by British law regarding cross-border movement of persons. European Union law will no longer have applicability, with effect from 31 October, Great Britain’s departure date from the EU. Unless the EU agrees, and begins concretely, to negotiate in good faith a serious departure régime.
Oh, the hoo-raw. How dare those Brits follow through instead of kowtowing to their betters in Brussels?
Rebecca Staudenmaier, writing at the link, also mischaracterizes the move.
The move is a departure from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, who had said the government would end free movement “as soon as possible” if the UK left the EU without a withdrawal deal, suggesting the rules could be phased out.
This is no departure from May. On the contrary, this is a solidification of her position: it clearly defines what “as soon as possible” means. Phase out? That phasing has just begun, if Brussels will get serious about negotiating the departure. Indeed, that transition period has been going on, tacitly, since Great Britain made clear its intention to go out from the EU. Phasing merely has been formalized with this announcement.
Indeed, here’s what the British Home Office actually has said on this subject [bold face emphasis added]:
EU citizens and their families are welcome to stay and there are no changes to the deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
This scheme covers all EU citizens and their families living in the UK by 31 October, and EU citizens have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply.
Here is a short explainer:
What is happening? Is freedom of movement ending on October 31?
We are leaving the EU on 31 October come what may. This will mean that freedom of movement as it currently stands will end on 31 October when the UK leaves the EU.
EU citizens will still be able to come to the UK on holiday and for short trips, but what will change is the arrangements for people coming to the UK for longer periods of time and for work and study.
Even though the transition period has begun, it will extend for 15 months after Great Britain leaves, and it’s quite a generous transition, to boot. Much more so than Brussels’ departure demands and May’s meek acquiescence to.
Of course, there are problems with this.
In a phone call with the EU Settlement Scheme office helpline, activist and former Change UK candidate Nora Mulready said she was told that EU citizens would have difficulty reentering the UK if they hadn’t applied by the Brexit departure date.
Those who hadn’t applied “would no longer be entitled to [freedom of movement] rights to live and work and be in Britain,” she said the office told her.
That’s a very serious problem. Mulready apparently thinks EU citizens are so grindingly stupid or otherwise incompetent that they can’t figure out that they need to make their applications—in the 71 days that they have. That just isn’t enough time for an adult continental. Wow.
Unnamed Liberal Democrats (here’s NLMSM policy again) claim this policy is reckless.
Not at all. What’s been reckless is the EU’s bad faith pretense of negotiation for a smooth exit, instead using the talks and outcome to punish the Brits for their effrontery and to serve as a warning to other nations contemplating the presumption of leaving.
Here’s hoping a Johnson government is good to its word.