Government publishes its strategy on UK's future relationship with the EU

European map and EU stars

On 12 July the government published its white paper The future relationship between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU).

The government has set out a detailed vision for a new relationship that is committed to working for both the UK and the EU. It includes a new framework for mobility which will confirm how those from the EU and outside can come to work in the UK. This is crucial for public services along with research, development and innovation.

Key proposals

The below points have been identified as areas relevant to employers in the NHS and may affect your EU workforce.

  • Free movement will end on 31 December 2020.
  • A new framework for mobility will apply from 1 January 2021 and will:
    - set out how individuals from the EU and elsewhere can apply to come and work in the UK
    - use evidence from the Migration Advisory Committee’s report, due in September 2018
    - confirm that the UK will choose to seek reciprocal mobility arrangements with the EU in a defined number of areas, building on current commitments by the World Trade Organisation agreement on trade in services (this includes the facilitation of mobility for students and young people, enabling them to continue to benefit from world-leading universities and the cultural experiences the UK and the EU have to offer).
  • The UK has proposed establishing a system for the mutual recognition of professional qualifications (MRPQ) that builds on the current MRPQ directive.
  • In line with the Common Travel Area agreements between the UK and Ireland, Irish citizens will continue to have a special status in the UK, underpinned by domestic legislation which is distinct from the status of other EU nationals.
  • Existing workers’ rights currently under EU law will continue in UK law after 29 March 2019.
  • The UK has proposed that alongside the EU it commits to uphold labour employment standards and international labour organisation commitments.  This means no EU based laws such as Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) and the working time regulations will be repealed following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
  • A proposal that both the UK and EU continue to participate in exchange of data and information, such as alerts on wanted or missing persons and criminal record checks to sustain the ability to protect citizens across Europe.

Next steps and further information

The UK’s negotiating team will engage with its counterparts at pace, to conclude the Article 50 negotiations this autumn. This will include finalising both the withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship.

Visit the government website to read the full white paper.

For further information on the latest developments regarding Brexit, please visit the NHS European Office website.

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