With the Article 50 deadline of 29 March 2019 approaching, and increasing talk of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, many EU citizens are beginning to worry about whether they will be able to remain in the UK, and on what terms they will be able to do so.
In our most recent contribution to Free Movement Blog, Iain Halliday examines the rights of EU citizens in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. He concludes that thanks to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, even if there is no withdrawal agreement in place before 29 March 2019 EU citizens in the UK will not become unlawful immigrants overnight. Their right to live and work in the UK under domestic law will continue, despite the end of EU free movement law. The regulations currently in force would need to be replaced by Parliament at some point, and it remains to be seen what new system would be introduced in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. However, any new system is likely to be the same (or very similar) to the settled status scheme the Government have been developing for the last 2 years. As such, regardless of whether or not there is a withdrawal agreement concluded in time, the post-Brexit system for granting status to the 3.5 million EU citizens in the UK is likely to proceed more or less as planned.
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