BREXIT – Solutions For UK Nationals In The EU And EU Nationals In The UK

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With the United Kingdom’s Parliament twice defeating the Prime Minister’s proposed Brexit withdrawal deal, and attempts to renegotiate with the European Union seemingly going nowhere, a “no-deal” Brexit on 29 March 2019 is now becoming an increasing possibility. As things stand now, the road forward appears to be a choice between no-deal or postponing Brexit beyond 29 March.

While the previous article 50 election means that the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 with or without a ratified deal, there are several ways that no-deal Brexit may be averted before then:

  • A UK government request for an extension of the article 50 period may be approved by the EU, for example in order to hold a general election, or a second referendum to ratify the withdrawal agreement;
  • Parliament may approve a different withdrawal agreement, which would however also need to be acceptable to the EU (the UK government would probably have to drop some of its “red lines” to achieve this, and the EU is only likely to agree changes to the political declaration on a future relationship);
  • The government may unilaterally revoke article 50, effectively cancelling Brexit.

With two possible forms of Brext still ahead, companies and individuals should be prepared for both an Orderly Brexit and a Disorderly Brexit.

Orderly Brexit

If a deal is eventually ratified:

  • Free movement will continue until the end of the transition period (31 December 2020 unless extended);
  • All EU citizens in the UK before this date will have until 30 June 2021 to register through the EU Settlement Scheme;
  • Family members in a relationship with the EU citizen before the end of the transition period will be able to join those with settled status at any future date;
  • The rights of UK nationals resident in the EU before the end of the transition period will be similarly protected;
  • New immigration rules, applying to EU nationals arriving after transition, should come into effect by January 2021 (the government’s proposal is analysed in detail  here).

Please see below for Newland chase’s service offering to assist EU nationals with the EU Settlement Scheme.

Disorderly Brexit

EU Citizens in the UK

In a no-deal Brexit scenario, with no transition period, the EU Settlement Scheme will still operate but the cut-off dates will be brought forward.

  • Only EU citizens already in the UK by Brexit day (i.e. 29 March 2019) will qualify, and they will have to apply by 31 December 2020;
  • Family members in a relationship with the EU citizen before Brexit day will be able to join those with settled status until 29 March 2022.

Please see below for Newland chase’s service offering to assist EU nationals with the EU Settlement Scheme.

The new immigration rules are unlikely to be ready for implementation by 29 March 2019. Section 2 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 states that “EU-derived domestic legislation as it has effect in domestic law immediately before exit day, continues to have effect in domestic law on and after exit day.” This means the UK would unilaterally grant EU citizens arriving after Brexit largely similar rights as entrants before Brexit, until new immigration rules take effect.

UK Nationals in the EU

It is expected that UK nationals resident in EU member states would be given a chance to register to stay. EU member states are in the process of establishing emergency no-deal Brexit plans. So far, no member state has proposed granting British nationals arriving after Brexit the same rights as those arriving before Brexit. Note that, after Brexit, a residence status in one member state will not provide work or residence rights in any other member state.

The following are details of measures proposed thus far by EU member states - details will be updated as plans are announced and clarified, and additional states added to this list.

France has passed legislation enabling it to protect the rights of UK nationals resident there by Brexit day, who will have to register during a transition period. The details of the rights on offer are contingent on a reciprocal offer from the UK. France triggered its no-deal Brexit contingency plans on 17 January 2019.

Germany: The authorities in Berlin have introduced an online registration system for UK national residents, who will have until 30 June 2019 to register in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Netherlands: If no withdrawal agreement is reached, the Netherlands will introduce a transition period from 29 March 2019 until 1 July 2020. Before 29 March 2019, the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) will send all UK citizens and their non-EU family members living in the Netherlands a letter which will serve as their temporary residence permit during this transition period. After this transition period, UK nationals and their family members who wish to stay, work, study in the Netherlands will require a residence permit, which they can obtain if they meet the same residence requirements that apply to EU citizens. The IND will send invitation letters to apply for a residence permit no later than 1 April 2020.

Italy: The Italian government has announced that it is preparing legislation that will allow British citizens residing legally in Italy to remain resident in the event of a no-deal Brexit. British citizens registered as residents at their local registry office (‘anagrafe’) at their town hall (‘commune’) by 29 March 2019 will be granted the rights and enough time to apply for the long-term resident status as per EU Directive 2003/109/EC.

Spain: The Spanish government has drafted contingency plans to allow UK nationals to maintain their rights and to change their status as EU citizens to a legal residency status under Spanish law, and has set up an information site.

Poland: On 11 January 2019, the Polish government announced draft legislation including a one-year transition period (i.e., until 30 March 2019) to allow UK nationals and their family members to secure their residence status. Temporary residence permits will be issued for a period of three years under the same conditions as for all third-country nationals. Also, fingerprints of all applicants will have to be submitted. Those who, on the day of submission, have already been in Poland for the last five years, will be able to apply for a permanent residence permit.

Czech Republic: The Czech government is proposing a 21-month transition period to allow for residence registration.

This above is informational only and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that immigration laws are fluid and can change at a moment’s notice without warning or notice. Please reach out to your Newland Chase contact should you require any additional clarification or guidance. Written permission from the copyright owner and any other rights holders must be obtained for any reuse of any content published or provided by Newland Chase that extend beyond fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for the determination of the copyright status and securing any permissions rests with those persons wishing to reuse this blog or any of its content.

What is the UK Settlement Scheme for EU Nationals?

The EU Settlement Scheme launches in full on March 30th 2019. From that date, EU nationals exercising the right to reside and work in the UK will need to apply for updated status under the new scheme.

We understand that it is vital to our clients to ensure the continued rights of their EU nationals, and that navigating this new system is no small undertaking. Newland Chase therefore offers a comprehensive set of services to support and minimize the impact of Brexit for both corporate and private clients alike.

We’ll work with you to tailor our services to your needs so that you can approach the new scheme with confidence and clarity. For businesses of every size, in every sector – from those looking to outsource the process from start to finish, to those who just require the occasional guiding hand – we’ll find the right settlement solution for you:

  • Start to Finish Support – A fully managed service to assist your EU national employees and family members navigate through the Settlement Scheme. Newland Chase will contact, assess, and provide a recommendation to each applicant, provide instruction on the process and required documentation, and assist with the application. To ensure your employees are fully compliant, Newland Chase’s immigration management technology platform will also track and report the progress for each employee, group, or the employee population as a whole and retain the documentation confirming the updated settled status for your access.
  • Application Preparation – Newland Chase consultants will assess, prepare, and process the application from start to finish for an EU national and their family members.
  • One-to-One Assistance – Direct access to our EU specialists and application support team at your location. Visiting your sites to hold one-to-one sessions with your employees, we will provide personalized consultation and in-person assistance with the submission of settlement applications.
  • Instructional Seminars and Webinars – Whether in-person or online, our live workshops guide your employees through the process of submitting an application and the standard documentation required for both Settled and Pre-settled status, as well as for those already holding Permanent Residence. Workshops can be tailored to the requirements of your EU national employees and can be easily paired with one-to-one assistance for additional consultation. For clients who want maximum instruction but with minimal disruption, our workshops can be presented in an online webinar format, allowing your employees to join at a time and place convenient for them.

Contact Newland Chase, a wholly owned subsidiary of CIBT, to discuss how we can best assist your EU national employees and their families, update their status, and protect their rights to work and reside in the UK.

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