EU chiefs are set to call for European nationals who arrive in Britain over the next two years to be allowed to stay permanently, according to reports.
Brussels officials are said to be keen for new migrants to be permitted to remain in Britain after Brexit. But Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure to insist on a cut-off point barring immigrants since last year’s referendum date from being allowed to stay.
It is thought that thousands more EU nationals will opt to settle in the UK if the cut off point is extended.
Figures released this week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal a ‘statistically significant’ number of citizens from so-called EU8 nations – the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia – have left the UK.
The outflow of EU8 nationals was up 12,000 year-on-year to 39,000 – the highest for five years.
Immigration from the countries was 58,000, the lowest since they joined the European Union in 2004.