Brexit and its negotiations have caused a lot of anxiety for EU citizens in the UK and stopped many people from seeking a career in the UK until they can understand what their status will be when the UK leaves the EU.
The press (UK and EU) have done a very good job of causing stress where it wasn’t needed, but now we are beginning to see how things will probably work out.
The rights of citizens are the top priority for both the EU and UK – both have stated that people are not bargaining chips and will work together to get an agreement in place.
This should be by the Autumn.
Here is the current status as we understand it: there are links at the bottom of the page to articles that are written by experts.
- The UK “offer” is that all EU citizens can apply for a new class of residency “EU settled status”. You will have the same rights as you have now – disputes will be decided by UK courts.
- You will need to be resident in the UK for 5 years to qualify. Residency start dates will have a cut off between March 2017 and March 2019. Probably the latter.
- If you are resident before the cut off you will automatically be allowed to complete the 5-year qualifying period.
- If you arrive after the cut-off date you will automatically be given a 2 year period in which to apply for a work permit. Once you have that you are on track for EU settled status.
In effect, if the cut-off date is March 2019, your freedom of movement will continue until 2021.
The EU’s position is broadly similar but there are 2 “pressure points” that will need to be negotiated in order to get the agreement in place and give security to 900,000 UK citizens resident in Europe and 3,000,000+ EU citizens in the UK.
Those pressure points are:
- The “cut-off” date.
- Which court will arbitrate disputes?
On point 1; commentators widely expect the EU to demand that the cut off date is the day of Brexit and that the UK will agree.
On point 2; the UK is leaving the EU and will not be subject to EU law or it’s courts. The EU will find this difficult to accept. The solution is likely to be a new court specifically to deal with these disputes. This will also be the solution for the 40 or so other treaties that will need to be agreed over the next 2 years.
So point 2 is probably going to be the thing that slows the negotiations down and is the one that we should all be keeping up to date on.
We don’t think that the final arrangement will cause much trouble for the folk that Nordic Staff usually help to find work in the UK – and one of our Directors, who is Swedish, had to apply through the system to become a resident before Sweden joined the EU. That was quite easy even then, as the UK wants skilled workers from wherever they originate from, and your language skills are your key to EU settled status in the UK.
These links are to articles and pages that will help you stay up to date:
Daily Telegraph – UK offer to EU.
BBC – All you need to know about Brexit.
The UK Government page – you can sign up for email alerts here.
Hopefully, you will find this article useful but we are not experts on Government negotiations so please do your own research!