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No free movement of EU nationals if Britain leaves with no deal on Oct. 31: Home Office

LONDON, Aug. 20, (Xinhua/GNA) – Britain will end the free movement of European Union nationals if no deal is reached with Brussels by Oct. 31, it has been confirmed in London.
Britain’s interior ministry, the Home Office, said: “Freedom of movement as it currently stands will end on 31 October when the UK leaves the EU, and after Brexit the government will introduce a new, fairer immigration system that prioritizes skills and what people can contribute to the UK, rather than where they come from.”
It will affect people from EU member states coming to Britain to work or study who currently do not need visas under the EU’s free movement rules.
The more than 3 million EU nationals currently working and living in Britain will be allowed to stay.
Europeans heading to Britain on holiday and for short trips will not be affected.
Citizens of the Irish Republic will also not be affected as a result of a long-standing arrangement between London and Dublin.
The London Evening Standard said the changes would raise questions about whether the 2 million EU citizens who have yet to apply for settled status in Britain after the UK leaves the bloc would be automatically allowed to return if they travel abroad.
The change in rules cancels proposals by former Prime Minister, Theresa May, who had considered extending freedom of movement of people from EU member states to 2021, or allowing EU citizens to stay for three months before applying for a longer stay.
The Home Office said EU citizens and their families have until at least December 2020 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, and 1 million people have already been granted status.  
A Home Office spokesperson said in a statement: “Ending free movement means we are no longer required to give unlimited and uncontrolled access to those from EU countries when they are coming here seeking to work.”
An estimated 40 million journeys into Britain are made each year by citizens of European countries.  

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