As it stands, there is a very real possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on October 31, 2019.
If a deal between the UK and the EU can be agreed then the separation would be reasonably orderly, with an agreed transition period to ease the UK out of the EU.
However, if a deal is not agreed then the default position is a ‘no deal’ Brexit. If nothing else, this will be disruptive.
A Global PEO provides an agile outsourced employment service, Employer of Record, for companies that need to recruit and employ in a country where they have no physical presence.
Typically, most companies employ local residents so there are no visa or sponsorship implications, however, there are also employees who travel to other countries to meet and work with other colleagues across Europe.
A no deal Brexit would mean the end of free movement for British people on 1 November and therefore the end of free movement for Europeans who want to travel to the UK.
British people would immediately need work permits to work in Europe, even if it’s only for a few days. Additionally, British people currently residing in Europe would need to confirm their status and may not have long to do it and there is not a lot of detail about that.
Europeans in the UK would need to confirm their status, irrespective of whether or not a deal is reached. Employees entering the UK before 2021 will be able to make a straightforward application for their settlement status before the end of June 2021. UK nationals in Europe will also need to make an application. The process will probably be familiar to anyone who has already made a residence permit application, but surprisingly little is known about how it will work, country by country.
The two conservative party leadership contenders suggest no deal is either the British people’s consensus or that threatening a no deal departure is a strong negotiating position against negotiators in Brussels. For this reason, it is imperative that Global PEO’s plan on how to manage any impact to a remote and increasingly mobile workforce.
If a person’s residence could be impacted by Brexit, they need to make an application. Europeans can do that now and should be reassured that the system is efficient and largely without issue. UK nationals in Europe need to wait a little longer until the processes are published.
In summary, this is what we know so far; If there’s a no deal Brexit, UK nationals heading to work in Europe will need a work permit. Those already there will need to confirm their status. EU nationals coming to or already in the UK will also face similar, if less pronounced, challenges. From 2021 the UK will have a new immigration system and newly-entering Europeans will not qualify to work in the UK unless they meet skill, salary and other requirements.
We are working with a leading Immigration Law firm to mitigate risks for our clients and will be contacting them directly in the lead up to 31 October to ensure they are aware of any impact to their business operations. Watch this space.