Theresa May to set out plans to deport European criminals after Brexit
The Prime Minister is expected to offer assurances to EU citizens living in the UK on residency, employment, health and benefits
Theresa May - credit: Christopher Furlong/PA Wire/PA Images
Thousands of European criminals could be thrown out of Britain after Brexit, under plans to be announced by Theresa May today.
While the Prime Minister is expected to offer assurances to EU citizens living in the UK on residency, employment, health and benefits, she will exempt “serious and persistent” criminals, with reports suggesting that will cover those found guilty of violent crime and sex and drug offences.
Some 14 per cent of the prison population is foreign-born. That figure includes non-EU criminals, although Polish and Irish citizens make up the top two foreign nationalities behind bars.
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Asked yesterday if anyone could be deported under the Government’s rights plan, Brexit Secretary David Davis said: “I don’t think so, unless they’ve committed a crime or some sort of security problem.”
But he added: “It will go back to the normal relationship.”
The comment suggests the grounds for throwing a criminal out after Brexit will be if deportation is “conducive to the public good” - although human rights rules will still apply.
As it stands the rules on deportation depend on the type of crime committed and how long a sentence has been given.
A source told the Daily Mail: “We want to see people who have murdered or raped deported, and this gives us an opportunity to do it.
“We will be running criminal checks against people as they seek settled status and where serious or persistent criminal offences are identified they will be considered for deportation.
“This is an opportunity to set our own rules on who we allow to live here and we are going to take it.”
The Times says the UK’s immigration policy after Brexit will also throw up barriers to convicts from EU countries who want to come to Britain.
May will unveil her 15-page plan today in a bid to give EU migrants who have been living in the UK for at least five years “settled status”.
However, it is not know yet when the cut-off date would be to determine who would be eligible.
EU nationals who have been in the UK for less than five years before the cut-off will have the chance to stay until they are eligible for settled status, May said last week.
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