If you don’t want to get bogged down in the the nitty gritty of the post-Brexit status of EU nationals living in the UK after Brexit, it’s best just to think of Caroline Nokes as the Minister For Her Own Arse, whose performance last week before the Find It With Both Hands Committee was so bad she was forced to do it all over again at the House of Commons on Monday afternoon, and with precisely the same results. Some background: Now, this might shock you, but when the UK voted to leave the European Union, there were some Brexit voters, not many but a few, for whom it wasn’t all about ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, or the UK at last being able to submit its own independent schedules to the World Trade Organisation. No, there were, and I’m as stunned by this as you are, one or two people who were concerned about a minor EU policy known as the free movement of people.
I mean we’re talking ten voters, probably, maybe as many as a dozen. But they really care about this stuff, they do, and they’ve got rights too you know. Which was why, when, with five and a half months till Brexit, the immigration minister Caroline Nokes’ accidental admission that the Home Office has got no idea whether free movement of people will continue after the UK has left the European Union, caused something of a stir.
Last week she told Yvette Cooper, the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, employers would have to check whether staff they wanted to hire had arrived in the UK before or after Brexit. This was later clarified by her boss, Sajid Javid, who said there would have to be a “sensible transition period”, thus confirming what had not yet been said, that Ms Nokes is anything but sensible. Read more
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