A short guide to the effect of Brexit on the European workforce

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union (“EU”) on 23 June 2016 and many employers are concerned about the effect this will have on their European workforce.

EU citizens in the UK

The first point to note is that rights of EU citizens to live and work in the UK will not change overnight. Currently, EU nationals have the right to come to the UK to study and work and to settle in the UK.

The UK will have two years to negotiate the terms on which it will leave the EU after invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. During this period, the UK will remain a member of the EU and free movement rules will continue to allow EU citizens to live and work in the UK and to allow EU citizens to move to the UK, including family members. Any attempts by the Government to place restrictions on EU citizens are likely to be deemed unlawful.

If the negotiations result in EU citizens no longer having full free movement rights with the right to live and work in the UK, there will almost certainly be special transitional rules for EU citizens already living in the UK at the date the UK left the EU.

UK citizens in the EU

Similarly, the rights of UK citizen to live and work in another EU member state should continue unaffected for the next two years.

Nevertheless, it is likely that your workforce will be anxious about the future and we would recommend that you facilitate a referral for immigration advice to your workforce to plan ahead.

We can assist with an immigration audit of your workforce in the UK and in Europe and advise and prepare applications from EU nationals for permanent residence and/or naturalisation and indefinite leave to remain and naturalisation applications for non EU nationals. For any immigration enquiries, please contact the immigration team.

The material contained in this guide is provided for general purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Appropriate legal advice should be sought for specific circumstances and before action is taken.

© Miller Rosenfalck LLP June 2016

Please contact:

Koshi Blavo Barna

DD +44 (0)20 7553 6002

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