Brexit - People

Transition Period

During the transition period (also known as the implementation period), employers would face ‘business as usual’ arrangements with respect to EU citizens living in the UK. Free movement would continue as now but EU citizens would be able to register for settled/pre- settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. EU citizens who arrive in the UK before the end of the transition period will be able to remain: those who have been resident for 5 years will have the right to settle permanently in the UK (‘settled status’) and their family members will also be protected. Those in the UK for less than 5 years will have the opportunity to stay until they have accrued 5 years (‘pre-settled’ status).

As an employer, you can use the Home Office EU Settlement Scheme Employer Toolkit to support your employees to apply for settled/pre-settled status. The WA protects the existing rights of employees from the EU to equal treatment and non-discrimination.

EU workers will continue to have their professional qualifications recognised in the UK, where they obtained or are obtaining a recognition decision before the end of the transition period.

How to apply for 'Settled Status'.


If the ‘backstop arrangement’ comes into force, it is currently unclear how immigration policy will be affected, with respect to EU citizens working in the UK. Current reciprocal rights of UK and Irish citizens will be maintained across both countries, but it has not been confirmed how the EU Settlement Scheme or future immigration system would relate to this outcome for UK-EU relations.

Post Transition / Backstop

Post transition or backstop arrangement, freedom of movement between the UK and EU would end and a new skills-based immigration system would come into force in the UK, replacing the current, reciprocal automatic rights to work and settle. The details of this will be laid out in an Immigration Bill expected in early 2019, pre-figured by an Immigration White Paper expected to be published in the last week of November 2018. EU citizens arriving in the UK during the transition period would be given a grace period after this ends to apply 

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