Brexit update: position EU citizens

With only two months remaining until Britain’s expected exit date from the European Union, the status of EU citizens remains ambiguous.

Though the British government had proposed temporary, transitional arrangements for EU citizens earlier this year, recent reports suggest that new border restrictions will be imposed in case of a no-deal, ending freedom of movement immediately after October 31st.

EU nationals who are currently living in the UK will need to apply for their new legal status to remain in the country in case of a no-deal by December 2020. These plans, referring to the EU Settlement Scheme, had already been set out by the Theresa May government and remain in place. However, the vast majority of EU nationals in the UK have not yet applied for their new status. It will therefore become impossible for the government to distinguish between newly arrived EU citizens and those who are already eligible to stay in the UK. The British government claims the latter will continue to have the same rights pertaining to work and other benefits. There is however no explanation offered on how they will be able to prove their legal status, as EU nationals currently do not require any documentation other than a valid passport to live and work in the UK.

The arrangements for EU citizens remain unclear in case of a no deal Brexit and it seems that time will be the biggest challenge.

EMG will continue to monitor the Brexit developments and will update its’ clients accordingly.

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