Home Office 'in process of assessing options for post-Brexit immigration system'


Work has started on assessing options for a post-Brexit immigration regime, a Home Office minister has said.

James Brokenshire suggested a so-called "points-based" system will not be the only approach considered.

The Government's proposals on immigration are set to be at the centre of negotiations over the departure from the EU.

Mr Brokenshire told the Commons Home Affairs committee it would be for incoming Prime Minister Theresa May to decide on policy.

The Immigration Minister said: "The Home Office is engaged with the current process that has been started through the Cabinet Office to assess the range of different options... that may exist."

He was asked how much longer it would take for the Home Office to come up with a points-based system, if that was to be the chosen model.

The minister said: "I think it is rather to look at the various different options. It isn't necessarily that a points-based system is the right way forward or the right option.

"That will be for the new Prime Minister to determine. That is certainly one arrangement. There are other arrangements that obviously could be considered as well."

He added: "I can certainly assure the committee that work has commenced on those options and in order to present to the new Home Secretary and also to assist the Cabinet Office."

Mr Brokenshire was also quizzed about the status of EU citizens, which has been at the centre of controversy in the wake of the referendum.

He said: "The view of the Government is that we want to protect the rights of EU citizens who are here in conjunction with the rights of British citizens in the EU.

"We are confident that we can do that. We want to act reasonably and appropriately in relation to that and that is why we think that this will be achievable.

"But we think it is important to do both together. To be clear, this is not about bargaining chips."

Around 2.9 million EU citizens are currently estimated to be in the UK, he told the committee.