A lot has happened in the month since our last update! In the short space of time we have seen:
- A Withdrawal Agreement has been agreed between the UK and EU’s negotiating teams.
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a leadership challenge within her Conservative party, not to mention the possibility of a no confidence motion.
- The UK Government confirmed that it will be going ahead with its EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), which set out the process EU nationals will need to follow in order to remain in the UK after Brexit.
- The UK also announced its controversial immigration White Paper outlining the rules-based system for EU immigration after Brexit.
- Most recently, both the EU and UK Government have been ramping up No-Deal planning and publishing related guidance.
With less than 100 days to go, concern and frustration is growing – particularly since the default outcome on the 29th March is a No-Deal departure.
The message from Goodwille remains the same: to not read too much into media hysteria and instead watch the positions of the EU and UK Government closely. Neither side shows any desire to leave on No-Deal terms. Since our last email; however, we do feel the risk of No-Deal Brexit has increased – though we await further details from both sides as to what a No-Deal entails. We expect more detail to be drip-fed over the coming months.
Next Key Date: Between 7th and around 17th January 2019: House of Commons approves the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration.
Next Update from Goodwille: Depending on the events over Christmas, we will be looking to send something out early to mid-January.
Brexit and EU migration: Is your status settled?
Whether there be a Deal or No-Deal scenario, on 29th March 2019 current EU rights of residence will fall away with the UK leaving the EU. The UK Government published a ‘Statement of Intent’ in June 2018, whose focal point was not only to detail Britain’s attitude towards immigration in a post-Brexit era, but also to introduce the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).
The EUSS is designed for both EU citizens and their family members to obtain either pre-settled or settled status which will ‘replace’ the automatic rights they currently enjoy with the UK being an EU member state.
Upon Brexit, gaining formal settlement status via the EUSS is critical for all EU citizens currently residing in the UK. As stated by the Government, it will allow them continued and unhindered access to work, study and the right to receive benefits, healthcare, pensions, public services and countless other rights currently enjoyed by EU nationals living in the UK.
Therefore, Goodwille together with North Star Law, experts in immigration law, have answered 3 key questions, which are relevant to individuals, family members and employers. Follow the link to get started.
No-Deal planning updates
The HMRC has already published a number of technical guidance notes on various areas of No-Deal preparation, and these can be found here. On Wednesday 19th December 2018, the EU published a memo outlining their No-Deal preparations.
- In reference to air transportation, the EU states that only basic connectivity would be guaranteed and that UK-registered airlines will be allowed to operate point-to-point flights from the UK to EU airports, but only until 31st December 2020. However, British citizens transiting via EU airports would not have to undergo additional security checks in EU airports and the UK’s aviation security scheme will be recognised as equivalent for a limited period.
- Further to this, all relevant EU legislation on imported and exported goods will apply as of the withdrawal date, and all remaining member states are asked to take all necessary steps to be able to apply the Union Customs Code and any relevant rules on indirect taxation to all imports from and exports to the UK.
- UK registered passenger cars will continue to be allowed to drive to the EU and vice-versa, under the assumption that the vehicles as well as the drivers comply with the relevant regulations set up in the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road traffic.
Alex Barker, from the Financial Times, noted that the EU does not address the Northern Ireland border, the EU budget and, to some extent, fish in the event of a No-Deal scenario.
See the EU’s published preparations for a No-Deal Brexit.
White Paper on post-Brexit immigration
The UK Government’s White Paper on post-Brexit Immigration was published on Wednesday. This outlines the Government’s plan to introduce a single immigration system and aims to end free movement. Effectively, the Government will introduce a new, skills-based immigration system where the workers’ skills are valued above their country of origin. Further to this, the system aims to continue to attract the best and brightest workers without overlooking British citizens. However, the proposed minimum income threshold of £30,000 has been met with criticism. Read the full white paper here.
What we are reading
- Government page for preparing for Brexit
- EU’s published preparations for a No-Deal Brexit
- UK Government Immigration white paper
- “Ivan Rogers’ Brexit bombshell, digested” by Martha Gill, published in the Guardian on Tuesday 18th December 2018
- “Might May’s Deal get passed after all?” by Chris Grey, published on The Brexit Blog on Tuesday 18th December 2018
We will continue to monitor the progress of the Brexit discussions, and will regularly send out updates via email and update our website with any recent news. Subscribe to our Brexit Newsletter to receive our updates directly to your inbox, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions on how Brexit will impact your business.