A very happy Tuesday to our readers. I hope you are well? I have had a bit of a hiatus due to sheer volume of work coming in and we have been actively looking to expand our market into other countries, but more of that in another post. I have been following all news sources avidly for a decent write up and here it is- Brexit 2. While I wrote about Brexit 3 months ago, there have been considerable strides made and I would therefore like to highlight them.
The UK Government has released its proposed offer, on the rights of EU Citizens, however, it did not get a good reception from the EU’s Brexit negotiator who stated that the and this would probably mean that there is a long road ahead before both parties bridge the differences.
The UK proposal does not immediately change the status of EEA nationals living and working in the UK, however it does give insights to the requirements on immigration and the right to work in the UK and this should prepare employees and employers for the best way forward in preparing/planning for the final deal.
What is on the cards?
The UK government wants to introduce a simpler method of applying for Permanent residence called settled status. Irish Nationals will continue to be exempt and not have their rights affected by Brexit and will always be able to live and work in Britain freely.
The deadline for Brexit Is the 30th of March 2019, however it is not clear what the cut-off date should be for EU and UK Citizens to qualify for obtaining status.
Settled status will allow EU nationals and their families who have been spent 5 years living in the UK. The same will apply for UK residents working in the EU. Those living lawfully in the UK, can live, work and claim benefits as they have been doing now. All EU Citizens who move to the UK before the cut-off point will be given blanket permission to stay for a period of up to 2 years. All children born in the UK to EU parents will automatically become British citizens.
Theresa May has promised that Brits will be able to get free healthcare while living or travelling in Europe under a continuation of the EHIC scheme and Brit Pensioners living in Europe will have their pension payments increased every year, just as if they were still in the UK. While this is good news, the EU negotiator has indicated that Britons living in the EU could lose their right to live in another EU member state after Brexit, which means that they are can only be resident in the EU country that they currently live or work in and effectively limiting their movement. This could be a blow to contracting engineers who move from project to project and would have to go through the process of applying for a new work permit, every time they found a new assignment. So, post Brexit, a Briton would not be able to move from one EU country to the other, which goes against the grain of the EU’s statement of allowing citizens to live their lives as if Brexit never happened.
British officials raised the issue with their European counterparts during 3.5 days of super intense talk and the consensus is that the EU will not make a move without a reciprocal offer for EU Nationals living in Britain that would allow them to move to another EU country and then return to the UK.
While both parties have made citizens right a top priority, there is uncertainty facing nearly 5 million people caught in the middle of the Brexit divide. This seems to be the case that neither party will budge until the other agrees. The question is, will they resolve this timeously and who will be the first to put something concrete on the table?
What seems to be clear is that they EU government plans on putting a complete stop to freedom of movement on UK citizens across Europe and we can only watch and follow the negotiations until it is all set in stone.