The government has announced that EU citizens coming to the UK after Brexit in November will face tougher criminal background checks, leading to speculation that anyone with a record could potentially be barred from entering the country, as well as calling into question the rights of some of the three million EU nationals who currently call Britain home.
According to the London Evening Standard, the move could affect Europeans living in Britain now as well as the hundreds of thousands who could be planning to relocate or even visit.
It’s also not clear whether the EU citizens who are yet to apply for settled status after we leave the EU would be automatically allowed to return if they travel overseas. People already granted settled status will have passed a criminality check before.
A Downing Street spokeswoman confirmed that freedom of movement as we know it now will end on October 31st and after that “much tougher criminality rules for people entering the UK” will be introduced immediately.
We’re now just a few months away from October 31st, the deadline that Boris Johnson set for leaving the EU, either with or without a withdrawal agreement in place.
Maike Bohn, representative of the 3million campaign that represents EU citizens, was quoted by the news source as saying: “This Government is shamefully linking EU citizens to criminality at every turn. We demand that the PM delivers on his promises to EU immigrants rather than creating the toxic soil for a large-scale Windrush scandal.”