Repeal of the main retained EU law relating to free movement etc

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration 10:00 am, 26th February 2019

A good number of useful and interesting points were raised by hon. Members. I just want to start by correcting one point made by the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton who said it was a fact that free movement would end when we leave the single market. Free movement, as hon. Members know, was frozen into UK law last year, which is why we need the Bill so that we can end free movement, which will not happen automatically when we leave the EU.

Hon. Members are right to point out that there may be a gap. There could be a gap either way. It is perfectly feasible that the Bill will not gain Royal Assent until after we leave the European Union and it is certainly possible to envisage the circumstances in which the Bill might gain Royal Assent before we leave the EU. It is an important Bill and, although I have been accused of putting the cart before the horse, that is not the case. It is not premature; it is something that we must do.