The rights of British citizens to live, work, travel and retire freely across the European Union came to an end today after Priti Patel confirmed the Immigration Bill has passed through Parliament.
After facing significant headwinds in the House of Lords, the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill gained assent today in preparation for the UK’s split with the EU at the end of the year.
Peers had expressed concerns over help for unaccompanied child refugees among other things, but striking a jubilant tone, Patel was clearly delighted to see the bill pass after “many years of campaigning”.
After many years of campaigning, I am delighted the Immigration Bill which will end free movement on 31st December has today passed through Parliament.— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) November 9, 2020
We are delivering on the will of the British people. pic.twitter.com/pUkio41nTg
Reaction elsewhere, however, was less enthusiastic.
Professor Tanja Bueltmann, a German living in Scotland, said the Bill ends the rights of millions of people like her to “freely choose to make the UK their home and contribute to society here”.
The Immigration Bill ends the right of EU citizens, millions of people like me, to freely choose to make the UK our home and contribute to society here. That, even in your victory, you cannot express a word of understanding but speak only of “delight” is pathetic. https://t.co/4ctakLE5NY— Prof Tanja Bueltmann (@cliodiaspora) November 9, 2020
Brian Cox questioned why anyone would celebrate the end of such freedoms, while others took a similar dim view.
We’ve picked out some early reaction:
I’ll never understand why these people celebrate removing their own right to free movement. Everyone else in Europe still has an entire continent to call home. https://t.co/eB2lHDqrTn— Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox) November 9, 2020
Great news!— David Schneider (@davidschneider) November 9, 2020
Our right to live, travel, work and retire freely in 30 countries has been ended!
At last we can join long queues at immigration at EU airports!
At last we can deter EU doctors and nurses and teachers and scientists from coming here!
One day soon – not this year or the next, but not so long from now – we will undo this. We will regain our right to travel and live freely on our continent once again. https://t.co/brzg6Klt7g— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) November 9, 2020
This is actually revolting. A disgusting bill passed and yet the Tories are ecstatic.— LUKE (@luke16taylor) November 9, 2020
Freedom of movement should just be the norm. People shouldn’t be judged on whether or not they’re deemed ‘good enough’ or what passport they have. https://t.co/uyrvg6UbJk