UK to end EU free movement immediately after Brexit

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain said Monday it will immediately end freedom of movement for people from the European Union after Brexit on October 31, in a policy shift under Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“Freedom of movement as it currently stands will end on October 31 when the UK leaves the EU,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

She added the government planned “tougher criminality rules for people entering the UK” as part of the new hardline stance.

“Details of other changes immediately on October 31 for a new immigration system are currently being developed,” the spokeswoman said.

The change comes amid growing fears Britain is set to leave the 28-member bloc without a divorce deal in two and a half months.

Around 3.6 million EU citizens already in Britain have been told to apply for “permanent settled status”, under an interior ministry scheme started by Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May.

So far only around one million have signed up for the status.

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