No, Philip Hammond Isn’t Giving Bankers ‘Special Exemption’ From EU Migration Curbs

But according to the the UK’s leading migration think tank, it is probably far less interesting than it seems. 

Madeline Sumption at the Migration Observatory says Hammond is almost certainly referring to work permits – the UK’s existing system for non-EU migrants applying to work in the UK – which has always prioritised skilled workers.

“I don’t see any reason to believe he wasn’t just talking about work permits, so not particularly radical”, she said. “What he has said is completely compatible with a standard work permit system.”

The Home Office has said that it is considering all options when it comes to free movement. But Sumption says the more radical interpretation of what Hammond said – that he is is proposing a border control system that lets people through depending on where they work – would be “unworkable”.

Having to turn up to passport control with extra documents for work-place proof, she says, would be too complicated.

““The idea that some French people would have free movement and others wouldn’t would make for a very complicated system”, she says. “The basic model would likely be the same.”

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