Free movement of EU citizens to Britain will end when the country leaves the EU in March 2019, Downing Street has said, moving to contain a Cabinet row over Brexit.
As senior ministers appeared to contradict each other for days over the crucial issue of immigration,Theresa May’s spokesman said there is “broad agreement” in the Government to make Brexit as smooth as possible.
The spokesman said that proposals for a new immigration system after Brexit will be brought forward “in due course” and added: “It would be wrong to speculate on what these might look like or to suggest that free movement will continue as it is now.”
Video: Cabinet ‘in a state of civil war’ over Brexit
Last week Chancellor Philip Hammond said there should be no immediate change to immigration rules when Britain leaves the bloc.
Mr Hammond said there would be a registration system in place for people coming to work in the UK during a transitional period after Brexit.
But in an interview for The Sunday Times, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said that any such move would “not keep faith” with the referendum result.
Video: ‘Mixed messages’ on Brexit migration
The spokesman said details of a post-Brexit implementation period were a matter for negotiations, he added, but Britain is not seeking an “off-the-shelf” solution.
The Financial Times reported last week that Mr Hammond hoped for an “off-the-shelf” transition deal.