The following is directed to organizations with a presence in the UK or who anticipate the need to place employees at a UK worksite.
Seyfarth Shaw’s Global Mobility Practice hosts attorneys licensed to practice in the UK, Canada, Ireland, France, Germany and the United States. The group has the capability to assist clients with obtaining work and residence visas for over 70 jurisdictions around the world. If we can assist you with Global mobility issues, either on the immigration or employment law side, please call your usual Seyfarth attorney contact. We will be happy to help you.
Seyfarth Synopsis: The UK’s departure from the European Union has now been delayed for the third time. Although an agreement between the UK and EU had been reached in relation to the form of an ultimate Withdrawal Agreement, there was insufficient time for the bill to be ratified by the UK Parliament before the stated political deadline of October 31st. By law, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was therefore required to ask the EU for another extension period during which the UK remains within the EU. The EU approved a “flextension,” which delays the departure date until January 31, 2020, or sooner if the UK Parliament ratifies the Withdrawal Agreement at an earlier date.
What happens next?
As Brexit did not take place on October 31, 2019, the UK will remain a full member of the EU during the extension period. Both EU nationals in the UK, and British nationals in the EU, will retain full rights of free movement during this time. The new Brexit date is January 31, 2020, unless the UK ratifies the Withdrawal Agreement earlier, in which case the UK would leave the EU on the 1st of the following month. For example, if the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified by Parliament on December 15th, Brexit would take place on January 1st under the terms of that agreement.
However, the Prime Minister proposed, and Parliament agreed to, a General Election that will take place on December 12th. The outcome of the election could dramatically alter the Brexit outlook once again. If the election results in a change of leadership, that could potentially impact the current Brexit policy. Possible outcomes could include a second referendum, revocation of Article 50 (which would cancel the Brexit process - although this is unlikely), further amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement or yet another extension.
EU Settlement Scheme Update
Currently, EU nationals residing in the UK have until December 31, 2020 to submit an application under the EU Settlement Scheme.
This process should now be easier for many, as the Home Office confirmed that the app for uploading documents and providing biometrics is now available on certain iPhones - previously, it had only been available on android devices. Further information is available here. This will avoid the need to send original passports to the Home Office or attend a biometric appointment in-person, as these actions can be completed via the ID Document Check app.
We will continue to monitor and report on Brexit developments as events unfold.
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