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Full Ministerial Statement on Brexit by David Davis


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Official statement by David Davis on Brexit:

And so, as we proceed, we will be guided by some clear principles. First, as I said, we wish to build a national consensus around our position. Second, while always putting the national interest first, we will always act in good faith towards our European partners. Third, wherever possible we will try to minimise any uncertainty that change can inevitably bring. And, fourth, crucially, we will – by the end of this process – have left the European Union, and put the sovereignty and supremacy of this Parliament beyond doubt.

There isn’t a great deal of detail. As has been said elsewhere, the Japanese Government seem to have a better and more detailed idea of what they want out of Brexit than the British Government does. If you are following these things closely, though, you will want to take a look at what David Davis says and read the whole thing.

For what it is worth, my take is that there is no hard line being adopted here on free movement of workers. It looks like EEA style “soft Brexit” so far, although there will no doubt have to be some sort of additional restrictions on immigration. It has been suggested that requiring a job offer before admission to the UK might be a UK negotiating position. The principle of free movement of workers absolutely depends on being able to move to another country in search of work, though, so that would in my view exclude the possibility of access to the EU’s single market and is therefore unlikely as a final outcome.

In other related news, No 10 has ruled out a full Points Based System for immigration control.Hopefully that means the existing and disastrous UK so-called Points Based System is heading for the scrap heap as well. Theresa May has talked about “some controls” on EU immigration, which also sounds fairly soft.

Meanwhile, there is still no news on the status of EU migrants currently residing in the UK.

Source: Exiting the European Union: Ministerial statement 5 September 2016

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.