31 January 2020

Whether it’s a happy day or not, the day is here and Britain will leave the EU at 11pm (GMT) tonight. So what happens now? Largely nothing.

As the clock strikes 11pm, a transition period will come into effect and this will continue until 31 December 2020. During this period EU/ EEA citizens and their accompanying family members can continue to relocate, live and work in the UK in the same way as before. Free movement rights will continue for British citizens travelling throughout Europe and British citizens establishing residence in other EU member states before the end of the transition period will be able to remain, but must be aware that local registration requirements will apply.

What happens next?

A new post-Brexit immigration system will be implemented in January 2021.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended that the existing sponsored work visa route remains, but with significant changes to incorporate EU workers who will become subject to the same requirements as non-EU nationals under the existing scheme.

Further recommendations include a reduction in the minimum salary threshold from £30,000 to £25,600, and a reduction in the skill level threshold from RQF Level 6 to RQF Level 3 to include medium skilled jobs.

In addition to the above, the MAC reconfirmed the following:

  • Abolishment of the Tier 2 General cap
  • Removal of the resident labour market test requirement

It is also likely that there will be new routes available for low skilled workers, although we don’t yet know what this will look like.

Please contact us if you have any questions on the above, or would like to arrange a discussion on Brexit planning for you or your business.