14 October, 2019 - 09:17 By News Desk

Immigration and Brexit – the latest

The current uncertainty over Brexit has magnified UK employers’ concerns about the recruitment and retention of EU staff, writes David Mills, Partner at Mills & Reeve LLP. But there are still a number of important facts we can be sure of, thanks to recent Government announcements.

First, there will be no immediate change to the ability of EU citizens to come to the UK to work in the event of a no-deal Brexit.  Deal, or no deal, the UK’s new immigration regime will not come into effect until 2021.

Secondly, the absence of a withdrawal agreement will not affect the position of EU staff already working in the UK at the point of Brexit. They and their families will still be able to secure most of the rights that they currently enjoy as EU citizens by applying to the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme. 

However, a no-deal Brexit will mean there will be no agreed transitional period. So EU nationals coming to the UK after Brexit but before the end of 2020 will not be eligible to apply for settled status. 

Instead they can apply for ‘Euro Temporary Leave to Remain.’ This will give them up to 36 months to work in the UK, after which they will need to apply for further permission to remain under the UK’s new immigration regime.
It is at this point that the picture becomes less clear, since the new regime has not yet been finalised. 

Suffice it to say that the proposals floated in the Immigration White Paper, published at the end of last year, would be significantly more restrictive towards workers from the EU, particularly those who are not highly skilled or working in shortage occupations.

For more information see our blog posting at www.hrlawlive.co.uk

• You can email David at david.mills [at] mills-reeve.com

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