Brexit Implications for EU Citizens Working in the UK

Implications of Brexit and EU Citizens in UKThis relates to the implications of Brexit on European Citizens working in the UK. Apparently, the British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 on March 29, 2017, which paves the way for Britain to initiate the formal two (2) year exit process from the European Union. Perhaps, the British exit from the EU is a pretty complicated process. Therefore, there are quite many questions, whose answer depends on the upcoming negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Accordingly, these negotiations will shape-up the major policy areas after the British exit from EU.

Brexit Implications for EU Citizens Working in the UK

It is expected that major parts of the existing EU law will initially be wrapped into the UK Law under the Great Repeal Bill.

Accordingly, Britain will have the freedom to make its own policies on all the touchstone issues inclusive of immigration — which is frequently cited as the primary reason why British people voted to leave the European Union in the very first place.

Implications of Brexit and Future of EU Nationals in Britain

The British PM and her senior cabinet colleagues have time and again refused to guarantee the right to remain in the UK to the three (3) million European Union nationals who are presently living in the United Kingdom.

EU Citizens in the UK: Main Bargaining Chips

The British Trade Minister Liam Fox has described Europen Union citizens residing in the UK as one of the UK government’s “main bargaining chips” in future negotiations with the EU. Moreover, the British PM Theresa May has stated that Britain would be left “high and dry” in the negotiations if Britain guarantees the rights of EU nationals living in the UK without a reciprocal assurance and arrangement for the United Kingdom nationals residing in the European Union.

Highly Unlikely to Deport EU Citizens from the UK

Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely that the British Government may undertake any deportation of EU citizens from the United Kingdom after Brexit.

Experts are of the opinion that the British PM intends to exclude EU nationals but only holding this issue back as a bargaining chip. However, this has not only gone down quite badly with the members of the EU, but EU residents living in the UK have also raised many concerns in this regard.

Concessions to EU Citizens in the UK: Brexit Implications

Perhaps, the chances of deporting current EU immigrants en masse are relatively low. Therefore, the British Government is quite prepared to give concessions to the European Union. It does not make any good sense to say during Brexit negotiations, ‘Well British Government will not allow European Union Citizens to stay in the United Kingdom, as such statements would attract reciprocal sanctions on United Kingdom citizens living in the European Union.

Moreover, there is a minimal possibility that the British Government would take a short, sharp, biting hard line about removing the rights of EU citizens to work in the United Kingdom.

Brexit Implications and Guaranteeing Residency Rights

At this point in time, the question of when the British Government would be in the position to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK is quite difficult to answer. The main reasons for this inability are that at present neither the agenda for Brexit negotiations has been agreed, nor the UK and the EU have the same priorities.

Most of the EU countries want a guarantee of European Union residents’ rights in the United Kingdom first and wish to settle the issue as soon as possible. Moreover, they would also prefer to see any progress on the calculation that how much the UK will end up paying the EU on exit. Whereas the UK intends to prefer to get the idea of free trade settled first. Therefore, there is an inherent conflict even over the agenda i.e. which issue should first be resolved!

At the moment there is no credible information about the possible agenda for Brexit Negotiations, and that will not be fixed until Article 50 is triggered at the very earliest.  Officials on both the sides may have plans ready, but these are not in the public domain. Therefore, at present, it is not plausible to say that how soon the issue is likely to be resolved.

Brexit Implications for Tourist Visiting UK from the EU

According to a few experts and analysts, HM’s Home Office might be opting to propose an electronic visa waiver scheme for EU citizens to make it easy for them to visit the UK. Such an arrangement will be quite similar to the United States electronic visa system which fast-tracks visitors from preferred countries.

Such an arrangement would facilitate tourism and EU citizens visiting the UK would be spending money in the UK’s Consumer Sector but would enable UK’s Government to impose restrictions on immigration of labour from the EU to the UK.

Immigration from EU to the UK and Brexit Implications

The British PM has vowed to end EU freedom of movement after the Brexit. The policy of Freedom of Movement allows EU citizens to move to, live in and work in European Union member states without required to apply for visas. It is one of the EU’s founding principles.

There are quite a few ideas that are being considered to replace freedom of movement after Brexit, and how to regulate the flow of workers from EU into the UK.

The first set of UK ministers who backed Remain tend to support as few restrictions as possible on EU migrants, workers, and people already resident in the European Union.

The second set of cabinet ministers is advocating a Free Movement Minus i.e. imposing minimal restrictions on free movement. The Free Movement Minus scenario would not only consist of a cap on EU migrant numbers but also an emergency break if HM’s Government will notice that too many EU migrants are coming to the UK.

The third set of ministers intends to altogether end freedom of movement.

The pro-Brexit ministers expect to end free movement between UK and EU and wish to introduce a work permit system for EU and non-EU citizens. Accordingly, the government would then decide how many European Union citizens it would allow into the United Kingdom every year for taking up a job offer — as the workers from EU would be required to have a job offer.

Britain’s cap on migrants from the European Union post-Brexit is going to fluctuate depending on the discretion of the government.

Brexit Implications: EU Citizens May Need to Apply for UK Visa

There is one proposal at the moment that EU citizens should come through exactly the same work permit channels as non-EU citizens, but such an undertaking could be very costly to implement. Many economists are quite appalled at the thought that that would apply to incomers whether they were citizens of EU or not.

Some preferential deal might be cut for EU citizens during the Brexit negotiation process. Though Theresa May is likely to prefer a work permit system for all; however, there is a need to have some kind of concession for EU workers.

The Impact and Implications of Brexit on UK’s Economy

The government is considering a sectorial work permit system for incoming EU migrants. Such a measure means that EU labour migrants would be facing different rules depending on the sector they would be working in. Ministers propose to consult businesses and industry on this notion during the summer, and from limited available evidence the UK government looks quite set on favouring such an approach; however, implementation of the scheme could be very, very complicated.

Accordingly, the experts believe that the UK is set on a highly restrictive and complicated system that could be very difficult to implement.

Brexit Implications for UK Trade Agreements

The possibility of Britain securing a ‘cake and eat it’ Brexit Deal i.e. Britain leaves the EU and also keeps enjoying the benefits of the Union, – looks quite slim if not altogether an unlikely event, according to the latest reports.

Instead, cabinet ministers have resigned to accepting compromises for securing better trade agreements with the EU in exchange for a level of sustained political control from Brussels.

British PM’s Tough Stance on Fragile Grounds

According to experts and reliable sources, Theresa May’s tough stance on Brexit – where the PM publicly said Britain could get a significant free-trade deal with the EU whilst also being able to limit free movement of people from EU – is looking increasingly delicate.

What is now emerging as more likely is a watering down of one element or another.

Two Possible Options: EEA and CETA

According to experts, there are only two viable choices in the post-Brexit scenario for Britain:

  1. high-accesslow-control arrangement which may look a bit like the EEA (European Economic Area). For instance, European Economic Area deals allow member countries such as Iceland and Norway to be members of European Union’s single market in return/exchange for accepting free movement while, for example, not signing up to common fisheries policy;
  2. low-accesshigh-control arrangement which may eventually end up looking like CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) – a more classic form of a free trade agreement. CETA refers to the recently struck deal between Canada and the EU which will see many import duties on goods between the EU and Canada reduced considerably;

In the post-election scenario, business voices that were silenced due to political pressures before the elections are recovering and have started raising their voices. Accordingly, the economic arguments that got lost in the last six (6) months are now being heard again!

Divisions in the Cabinet

According to Media Reports, Cabinet splits on Brexit have been bubbling up over recent weeks with Brexit Secretary Mr David Davis and Chancellor Mr Philip Hammond reportedly clashing.

Chancellor Hammond is known to aspire to put economic stability ahead of sovereignty while hardline Brexiteers, such as Secretary Davis, believe giving any ground on border controls and immigration would signify as a betrayal of the referendum result.

Brexit Implications for Financial Services in London

The EU is looking forward to taking much of the multi-billion pound euro clearing sector out of London and into Europe. A delegation of business leaders of the City of London is proposed to visit Brussels in the second week of July 2017 to press for a post-Brexit deal on financial services.

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