Work on a new UK immigration system that will handle the registration of EU migrants after Brexit may not be ready in time, according to the Home Office.
Officials have previously said that a separate UK immigration scheme is required in addition to the current system that registers existing European citizens, but the government department has revealed that work has “barely begun” to put it into place.
Commenting on progress, Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “If this were true it would be a sad admission of incompetence at the Home Office and it would be hard to believe that someone as efficient as Amber Rudd would accept such a sorry state of affairs.”
Alongside working on a new system for the transition period, UK immigration officials are also working to establish a new system that will be implemented later.
Despite calls for more details about this new system, the government has refused to provide more information. However, Theresa May has announced that EU migrants arriving after Brexit comes into effect on March 2019 will not be awarded an automatic right to stay.
This decision was reportedly criticised by senior government officials who have claimed that it would be difficult to create a new system for registration by this date.
A government source added: “The work has barely begun and I don’t think anyone has any confidence that such a new system can be ready for March next year.”