Hard Brexit – immigration impact

Theresa May, has today highlighted the Government’s pledge to leave the single market and the customs union which will in turn limit free movement of EEA nationals. Theresa May views this measure as the ideal tool for cutting immigration in the UK. This would invariably mean that EEA nationals, arriving in the UK, post Brexit are more than likely to face new travel and work related restrictions. We are yet to know the exact details and how TM plans to achieve this.

The PM has also indicated that the Government would push for a ‘phased period of implementation’ which could mean that any new arrangements, specifically immigration related, do not kick in immediately on completion of the two-year period following the triggering of Article 50 which is expected to be in March 2017.

The PM has still not given any assurance to the status of EEA nationals, and their family members, currently residing in the UK, and only seems intent on doing so once the status of UK nationals, living in EU member states, is confirmed. It may take months or even years to reach an agreement which would be suitable for both parties. Her speech brings little comfort or stability to businesses, who rely on European nationals, to ensure their businesses continue to provide an efficient service.  At the same time individuals face a frustrating wait whilst this is negotiated.

It continues to remain our emphatic advice that EEA nationals (and their family members) apply to the Home Office for documentation recognising their rights of residence/permanent residence in the UK (and, where appropriate, naturalise as a British citizen) to put them in the strongest position when Brexit finally bites.

For further information and advice please contact:

Koshi Blavo Barna

Senior Immigration Consultant

T   +44 (0)20 7553 6002

E kbb@millerrosenfalck.com


The material contained in this note 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, January 2017