Free movement of EU citizens to Britain will end in March 2019, according to a spokesman for Downing Street.

Today’s announcement could pose a significant threat to the UK technology industry, which has typically criticised the negative effects Brexit would have on businesses’ access to European tech talent.

The news comes after chancellor Philip Hammond suggested on Friday that full controls would take time to put in place, hence fueling speculation that free movement of EU nationals would continue during a transitional post-Brexit period.

Speaking to the BBC over the weekend, immigration minister Brandon Lewis, said the government was “very clear” that “free movement of labour ends when we leave the European Union in the Spring of 2019”.

The spokesperson added: “It would be wrong to suggest it… will continue as it is now.”

Ministers have said Brexit will allow the UK government to control who is able to come in to the country and how many people are able to do so.