Following recent developments in Parliament, the risk that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October 2019 without a deal has now diminished. However, given the Government’s determination to respect the result of 2016’s referendum, it is still important for businesses to prepare for the possibility of leaving the EU without a deal at a future point. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK Government has committed to ending freedom of movement as soon as possible. There may be a transition period between the end of freedom of movement and the introduction of the new skills-based immigration system, which is expected to be launched on 1 January 2021.
In the event of a No deal Brexit
After the UK has left the EU, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will continue to enter the UK unchanged (without a visa), for stays up to 3 months, even in the event of a No-Deal Brexit.
For EU, EEA and Swiss citizens arriving in the UK, after it has left the EU without a deal, and wanting to stay to live, work and study in the UK for more than 3 months, they will need to apply for “European Temporary Leave to Remain” during the transition period. If successful they will be granted a further 36 months. It will not be extendable, grant them indefinite leave to remain, or make them eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens that were already resident in the UK, prior to the UK leaving the EU, maybe eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme.
Irish Citizens will not need to apply for the European Temporary Leave to Remain, as they will continue to have the right to enter and live in the UK under Common Travel Area arrangements.
More detailed guidance for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens coming to the UK to visit, study, work or join family if the UK leaves the EU without deal can be found here.
Please regularly check GOV.UK website for updates.