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Brexit Secretary Says U.K. Could Impose Deadline For EU Nationals To Immigrate

David Davis arrives to be named as Brexit Chief after a meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Davis arrives to be named as Brexit Chief after a meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said the country may impose a cut-off entry date for European Union nationals who want to immigrate the U.K., as part of negotiations for the U.K.'s exit from the bloc.

Davis is in charge of leading those negotiations. He said that a cut-off date would only be imposed if there's a last-minute surge of immigration from EU countries to the U.K.

He added that he hopes to make a "generous settlement" for EU nationals currently living in the U.K.

"If we make a very generous settlement, as I plan to do, then people will say that will attract lots more people in because they want to beat the deadline," Davis said in an interview with Dermont Murnaghan on Sky News. "One way of dealing with it could be saying, OK, only people who arrive before a certain date get this protection."

Also on the table is the fate of Brits living in EU countries, which Davis said are part of the same negotiations. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, he rejected the idea that the government was using those Brits as a bargaining counter in the talks.

"If you do it all together nobody is a bargaining counter. It is based on the presumption that they [the EU] will be rational about their own citizens' interest, which they will be," he told the Mail.

Davis added that he expects the U.K. to formally begin the process of leaving the EU "by the end of the year and be out of the EU altogether by 2019."

Reporter Larry Miller told our Newscast unit that Brits appear to be getting used to the idea of leaving the EU, after the initial shock of the very close referendum. "A fresh poll suggests just 29 percent want a second referendum," Miller reported.

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Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.

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