MPs warns of spike in migration following Brexit

The Home Affairs Committee has warned the government that there could be a spike in UK migration ahead of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

In a report, the committee argued that there could be fresh delays and an increased backlog in the immigration system if migration were to increase.

MPs said: “Past experience has shown that previous attempts to tighten immigration rules have led to a spike in immigration prior to the rules coming into force.

"EU citizens living and working in the UK must be told where they stand in relation to the UK leaving the EU and they should not be used as bargaining chips in the negotiations."

The report argues that use of a ‘cut-off date’ could mean that there is a surge in the number of people applying to live in the UK, who believe that now is the only chance they will get to do so. While a cut off date has not been officially announced, it is generally thought the date would be set at the time that Article 50 is triggered.

A government spokesman said: "We are about to begin these negotiations and it would be wrong to set out further unilateral positions in advance. But there is clearly no mandate for accepting the free movement of people as it has existed up until now."

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