Government announces immigration plans for no-deal Brexit

The UK Government has announced immigration plans for no deal Brexit, in the now seemingly unlikely event that Britain will leave the EU without a deal next month.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, a new European Temporary Leave to Remain scheme (Euro TLR) for European Economic Area and Swiss citizens and their close family members will be introduced. Citizens of those states moving to the UK after it has left the EU and up until the end of 2020 will be able to obtain a temporary immigration status lasting three years. This will give businesses certainty that they will be able to recruit and retain staff after Brexit.

“In the future, we will introduce a new points-based immigration system built around the skills and talent people have – not where they are from,” said home secretary Priti Patel yesterday.

The Home Secretary also announced that a tougher UK criminality threshold for EEA citizens will be applied in order to keep out and deport those who commit crimes, while further measures to be potentially introduced after 31st October include:

– Removing the blue EU customs channel, requiring all travellers to make customs declarations by choosing the red or green channel;

– Introducing blue UK passports later this year; and

– Removing the rights to permanent residence under retained EU law for those who arrive after Brexit.

After 31st October, EU citizens will still be able to come to the UK for visits or short trips. They will then have to apply for the Euro TLR if they wish to stay beyond 31st December 2020.

Applications for the scheme will open after the UK leaves the EU and will involve a simple online process and identity, security and criminality checks. EU citizens will receive a digital status lasting three years entitling them to work and rent property during this period. EU citizens wishing to stay on in the UK after their temporary status expires will need to make a further application under the new points-based immigration system.

Employers and landlords will not be required to distinguish between EU citizens who arrived before and after exit until the future immigration system is introduced from 2021.

For EU citizens who are living in the UK by 31st October 2019 and their families, they have until at least 31st December 2020 to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme.

On 15th August, the Home Office confirmed that over one million people had already been granted status through the Scheme.

Article published 5th September 2019