IMPACT – HIGH
What is the change? Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that people from Europe and the rest of the world will face the same immigration rules if they want to come to live or work in the U.K. after Brexit, heralding “an end to free movement for once and for all.”
What does the change mean? Employers can now expect the U.K. to have a single, unified immigration system for migrants from Europe and the rest of the world in which low-skilled migration is substantially cut and high-skilled migration prioritized, beginning in 2021. There will be no “preferential treatment” of EEA nationals under existing or renegotiated EU free-movement principles.
Below are the key provisions in the immigration plan.
Background: Following the Migration Advisory Committee’s influential report on regulating European migrants in the U.K., the Cabinet had agreed to the principle that EEA nationals and non-EEA nationals should follow a single set of immigration rules once European “free movement” ends post-Brexit. Tuesday’s announcements detail government thinking on the U.K.’s post-Brexit immigration plan.
Analysis & Comments: Tuesday’s announcements are relevant to employers and individuals interested in the long-term plans for migration in the U.K. The government has already confirmed that the rights of EU citizens already living and working in the U.K. will be protected after Brexit and this announcement does not alter that position. The EU Settlement Scheme is already undergoing a pilot pending rollout prior to March 29, 2019, allowing these EU citizens and their family members to register with settled or pre-settled status and continue to live and work in the U.K. Employers must still await the conclusion of EU negotiations, expected in November, when a white paper should be published with comprehensive detail of the U.K.’s revised immigration system.
Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.
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