By James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline
Published: 14:37 BST, 1 September 2019 | Updated: 15:20 BST, 1 September 2019
Ministers have been forced to abandon plans to scrap EU free movement rules at midnight on October 31 amid fears the government will be sued, it was claimed today.
Home Secretary Priti Patel made clear last month that she wanted the arrangements - regarded as one of the main drivers of the 2016 Brexit referendum result - to end immediately after the UK leaves the bloc.
However, proposals to ditch the rules in one swoop have apparently been shelved after lawyers hired by the Home Office warned it could cause chaos.
According to the Sunday Times, ministers wanted to use the Immigration Bill to make the change, but realised it will not become law in time for the Halloween deadline.
They also considered using executive powers in the EU Withdrawal Act, but were informed that would open the government to legal action.
Free movement rules are believed to have been one of the main drivers of the Brexit vote in the 2016 referendum (file picture)
Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured in Dover last month) made clear she wanted the arrangements to end immediately after Brexit
The government's Brexit war cabinet