The result of the EU referendum on the 23rd June when the UK voted to leave the EU, has left us in uncertainty about the future relationship of the UK with the EU. But of immediate concern is the potential effect of this decision on EU nationals and their family members resident in the UK. There are around 3 million EU nationals living in the UK. As EU nationals are not required to hold residence documents to prove their status, it remains to be seen what rules the UK government will implement to enable them to continue to live in the UK and how the rules will affect individuals. In any event, they would be required to hold a document to prove their status. Before any such changes are introduced we would strongly encourage EEA and EU nationals and their family members to apply for status documents and particularly if they qualify for permanent residence to preserve their status. Although the only thing that is certain about Brexit is uncertainty for individuals and businesses alike about their future. Whatever changes are on the horizon, one can only anticipate that they are likely to make it harder to qualify for residency status in the UK and or permanent residence.
It has been widely reported in the media that the politicians’ strongest option for the Brexit negotiation is to restrict EU migration to those who have job offers in the UK. This will be in line with the wider aim of the UK referendum to ‘cut immigration while keeping the freedom of movement needed to stay in Europe’s single market.’
In light of the recent discussions about the negotiation options, it is likely that in the future EU nationals wishing to migrate to the UK will find themselves having to meet similar and stringent requirements like migrants from outside the EU are required to meet.
If you are an EU or EEA national resident in the UK we encourage you to get in touch to discuss how best to protect your status as we move towards ‘Brexit’.