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Yet more uncertainty for businesses employing EU nationals?

So, Theresa May has promised to battle EU leaders in the next stage of the Brexit divorce talks. This will no doubt make some UK businesses desperate for the Government to lock down the 2-year transition period very nervous, as it will be very difficult to forecast past March 2019. 

It was expected that the Prime Minister would fully accept the EU’s demands, but recent reports state that she will argue against some of the terms; especially in relation to EU nationals in the UK post Brexit. Last December the EU Parliament and UK Government agreed a deal for EU nationals living in the UK.

Under this deal, all EU citizens who had been in the UK for over 5 years by the Brexit date (29 March 2019) were expected to be granted Settled Status. EU nationals who arrived in the UK before the Brexit date were able to stay and get Settled Status after living here for 5 years. The Government said people arriving after the Brexit date could freely live, work and study during the transition period; although they would need to complete a mandatory registration process and meet future UK rules for settlement. The EU has now said existing EU laws about permanent residence should apply until the end of the transition period (31 December 2020).

Last week, Liam Fox, Secretary for International Trade added to concerns centred around the UK being unable to sign and negotiate agreements, whilst we are still part of the EU. An issue that he claims will only be extended in the 2-year implementation period.

This lack of clarity about the uncertainty for future EU workers in the UK is bad for business, especially in sectors such as hospitality and agriculture that rely heavily on this supply of labour. The next few weeks will be crucial and it will be interesting to see if and how this important issue can be resolved.

If you have any questions about how Brexit may affect you or your business, please contact us at or by phone on 020 3818 5433.


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