A staunch liberal, Sir Vince Cable has called for an immediate termination of free movement across Europe and into Britain since according to him it no longer serves any purpose as Britain is exiting the EU. He argued from an immigration point of view where certain nationalities, namely from India, US, Australia and a few others have to face tough immigration controls and meet stringent requirements, whereas those from Europe don’t have to meet any such requirement when visiting Britain.
While Cable was correct that from an immigration outlook, certain discriminatory practices seem to be at play, the fact remains that Britain would continue to trade with EU. It would always be business as usual and as such, his party, the liberal democrats would find it hard to justify terminating the “free movement” from Europe. And one should note that it was the UK which held a referendum on whether to exit the EU or not, while the EU would have preferred the UK to remain with it. As such, given the public mood and desire, more party men may come forward to back Cable’s position.
But this would only lead to a spat between UK and EU eventually spiraling into a trade war, a situation that has no winners on either side of the pro or anti-EU bloc, with UK access to the free trade zone being revoked. At most, given the current mood and how the “free movement” is being seen as a way to stay in EU without baggage, the UK government could initiate a set of talks with their EU counterparts and get them to cap the free movement. If they fail, they can levy a surcharge on all visitors from mainland Europe. It makes no logical sense to permit free movement from Europe into the UK when the UK has walked out of the EU.