The British government will examine what contribution EU citizens make to the UK economy. More than three million citizens of other EU member states live in Britain.
As the country looks to structure its post-Brexit immigration system, the country’s interior minister Amber Rudd says the government needs an accurate picture of EU labour in the UK.
Rudd has asked an independent group to conduct a study.
“We will be having a new policy, but part of what I’m announcing today is to show that we’re going to make sure it’s evidence based and that we’re going to make sure that it works for the whole country,” Rudd told reporters.
“This is going to be a really national consultation so that we look at the different regions and make sure that the policy that we finally arrive at with does support the whole country.”
The government says free movement, a key EU principal, will end when Britain leaves the bloc.
While Brexit negotiations are taking place, business say they are not sure exactly what will happen in March 2019.
“The referendum was a vote of no confidence in lots of things, including the European Union, it was a vote of no confidence in how governments have handled immigration,” said Sunder Katwala, director of think-tank British Future.
“If you think immigration brings cultural and economic benefits to Britain, which I do, you’ve got to go and secure the political and the public confidence to keep it going and that would mean changes to the system after free movement.”
Rudd wrote in the Financial Times newspaper that “The UK must remain a hub for international talent,” adding “We must keep attracting the brightest and best migrants from around the world.”
The independent report is due in September next year, six months before the Brexit deadline.