EEF: Brexit and Migration
Brexit, it seems, has been very much in the news on a daily basis for the past two-years, and with Parliament currently in deadlock the deal seems far from done.
Making sense of the withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU, the EEF – The Manufacturers’ Organisation for the UK, recently held a meeting with their Employment and Skills Policy Committee, including our very own CEO Jenny Holloway, to discuss key issues surrounding migration and what it means for the many EU workers that contribute to the manufacturing sector.
Tim Parkinson led with an update on the withdrawal agreement (WA). Within the WA, the first part that was agreed was the deal on citizens’ rights. The deal is that EU nationals will get settled status once that have accrued 5 years continuous residence in the UK. If they have not accrued 5 years continuous residence then they can apply for pre-settled status, which will ultimately give them a 5 year visa, once have accrued the 5 years, they can then apply for permanent settled status.
The WA also stated:
- No changes to the definitions of family members and dependents who can join EU nationals in the UK,
- Therefore, grandparents and non-EU dependents can continue to come to the UK
- The scheme is broadly that already announced, that is permanent settlement after five years’ residence
- The settlement scheme applies to all citizens who reside in the UK or EU before the end of the transition period and continue to do so after this time
- UK nationals in the EU will only gain settlement in the EU member state they reside in
- Children enjoy the right to join a parent/EU national in the UK at any time
- There are changes for those arriving after December 2020,
- Dependents and family members only have a settlement right in the UK if their relationship existed before the end of the transition period, e.g. a pre-December 2020 marriage
- Partners of EU citizens can only join EU nationals in the UK then where the relationship existed before the end of the transitional period
- The UK must continue to accept EU national ID cards for 5 years after the end of transition, (to at least December 2025)
- Therefore the documents needed for right to work checks will not change before this
- Once acquired settled status is only last after an absence of 5 years from the UK
- EU nationals with less than 5 years residence in the UK get the right to remain here and acquire their 5 year period
- The deadline for applications for the new status is not less than 6 months after the end of transition, (June 2021)
- Those arriving after the December deadline above, have 3 months to apply
- The deadline for submitting applications can be extended by one year by either the UK or the EU if their technical systems need more time
- Applicants for settled status must have access to an administrative review and a judicial appeal
- It shall be deemed that all EU nationals in the UK have settled status until 6 months after the end of the transitional period
- This means that EU workers who fail to secure Settled Status can continue to work until June 2021
- It also (probably) means no changes to right to work checks until at least June 2021
- There is no general right to social assistance/social security before the grant of settled status and no right to support/student loans for learners unless in work
- Free movement continues throughout the transition period (until December 2020)
- The mutual recognition of professional qualifications continues in the transition period
- Social security co-ordination provisions apply during transition and after this for UK nationals residing in the EU and EU nationals residing in the UK
- EEA states are included in the agreement provided that they each conclude an agreement with the UK
- This will therefore include Norway and Switzerland
With lots of new information to consider the EEF has put together a Toolkit designed to help businesses deal with trade and migration issues arising as a result of Brexit. The self-audit trade tool delivers a report to help companies plan for the cost of trading with the EU after the UK leaves the European Union. Along with a new migration section, which helps businesses future proof their workforce against new legislation and settlement rules.
MPs are now due to vote on the proposed Brexit deal, agreed by the UK and the EU, the outcome of which could result in a number of varied options if the deal is rejected.