The government’s announcement regarding the paper, which was supposed to be released last summer, has been criticised by the business community.
This move also means that a Brexit immigration bill, promised in the Queen’s speech, will not reach the statute book before the registration of the three million EU nationals already living and working in Britain gets underway this autumn.
Business leaders angry
Business leaders have expressed their anger at the delay in publishing the report.
Josh Hardie, the deputy director general of the Confederation of British Industry, told The Guardian that businesses would be “hugely frustrated” by the postponement.
“Firms need time to plan for change and that is why many will be deeply disappointed by any delays to the white paper. It is perfectly possible to be clear on people’s rights to work in the UK, for the transition period at least.
“The government should commit now that people’s rights to work won’t change over the first two years from our date of departure from the EU.”
The delay in publishing the white paper adds to the uncertainty created by last week’s announcement by Prime Minister, Theresa May that EEA migrants who arrived in the UK during the Brexit transition period would not have the right to settle in the UK permanently.
A leaked draft of the immigration white paper, disclosed by the Guardian last autumn, showed the Home Office also wanted to ban EEA jobseekers from qualifying for residence permits, and require new EEA workers to pass a minimum income threshold test as well provide evidence of a job offer before being allowed into the country.
When asked to give reasons for the delay in publication, a Home Office spokesperson stated: “We are considering a range of options for the future immigration system and will set out initial plans in the coming months. In December, we reached a deal with the EU on citizens’ rights – and our priority now must be to agree the detail of the implementation period.”
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Posted on: Tuesday, 06 February, 2018