European Union citizens who want to come to the UK post-Brexit may have to apply for a work permit.
This is one of the possibilities that Home Secretary Amber Rudd is looking at to control migration from Europe to the UK. Tighter UK border controls was one of the key issues in the campaign leading up to the Brexit vote in June.
She told the BBC: “Work permits certainly has value. What we're going to look at is how we can get the best for the economy, driving the numbers down but protecting the people who really add value to the economy.”
Prime Minister Theresa May, the former Home Secretary, has already dismissed the idea of introducing a points-based system to decide on who would and would not be awarded a UK visa after the country formally leaves the EU.
It’s likely that migration will be one of the key sticking points in the negotiations for the UK to leave the EU. Ministers are keen to preserve the country’s access to the EU single market while tightening border controls and reducing the number of migrants coming in the country. But EU members are unlikely to provide the UK with the same trade benefits unless EU citizens are afforded freedom of movement.
Ms Rudd, who supported previous Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to bring net migration to the UK below 100,000 a year, said it was possible that in future, British citizens would be required to pay for a visa to visit continental Europe.
She said: “I don't think it's particularly desirable, but we don't rule it out because we have to be allowed a free hand to get the best negotiations... it's a reminder that this is a two-way negotiation.”