Brexit readiness - what you need to know

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With the UK still scheduled to leave the European Union (EU), we have prepared a recap of arrangements in place if the country leaves with or without a deal.

Despite ongoing uncertainty, this recap summarises the arrangements in place for entry to live and work in the UK and recognition of professional qualifications in a deal/no deal Brexit. For weekly updates on Brexit from the NHS Confederation European Office, which aim to support you in your preparations, please sign up here

Key points and information

  • Current free movement arrangements stand until the agreed day of departure.
  • When the UK leaves the EU, arrangements have been agreed to replace both the free movement of people and the mutual recognition of professional qualifications (MRPQ) in the event of a deal/no-deal.
  • Both potential outcomes impact on the ability for individuals to come to the UK and for employers to recruit EU/EEA nationals.
  • The Home Office is continuing its engagement with employers to shape the future immigration system which will be in place for the recruitment of EEA and non-EEA citizens from 1 January 2021. To support this, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is currently seeking evidence on salary threshold and points-based system options. Find out more including how you can respond. 
  • The Home Office EU Settlement Scheme has now received approximately two million applications from EU citizens. Employers are encouraged to continue to support EU citizens to apply to the scheme by signposting to the government information and resources available. Find out more in our dedicated website section

 Deal/no deal arrangements 

  Deal   No deal
Entry to the UK to live and work for EU/EEA citizens  
  • EU/EEA citizens will be able to enter the UK to live and work until December 2020 and will receive the same rights as EU citizens currently living in the UK.
  • EU/EEA citizens (current and new arrivals before 31 December 2020) will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme at some point before June 2021.
  • EU/EEA citizens who currently reside in the UK or arrive before the agreed leave date will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme at some point before 31 December 2020.
  • From the agreed leave date until 31 December 2020, EU/EEA citizens will be able to enter the UK as they do now and stay for a maximum of 36 months to visit, work or study.
  • EU citizens have the option to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR) once the UK has left without a deal. Applications can be made on arrival in the UK.
  • Individuals wishing to stay beyond the three years of Euro TLR will be required to apply to the new immigration system.
  • Irish citizens have the right to enter and live in the UK under the Common Travel Area arrangements. 

Mutual recognition of professional qualifications by UK professional regulators 
  • The MRPQ directive will continue until 31 December 2020. 
  • Any qualification that is not entitled to automatic recognition will be assessed by the relevant regulator as it is now.
  • UK regulators will work with DHSC over the next two years to review arrangements for the processing of applications to the register from individuals with qualifications gained outside of the UK.
  • Healthcare professionals whose qualification has been recognised and who are registered before the agreed leave date will continue to be registered afterwards. 
  • Healthcare professionals who apply to have their qualification recognised by a UK regulator (such as NMC, GMC) before the agreed leave date, will have their application completed under current arrangements.
  • DHSC has introduced a statutory instrument which maintains existing recognition arrangements for EEA and swiss professional qualifications, as far as possible, for a period of two years after we exit the EU.
  • From the agreed leave date, qualifications automatically recognised will continue to have similar treatment for at least two years.
  • Qualifications not entitled to automatic recognition will be assessed by the relevant regulator as now.
  • UK regulators will work with DHSC over the next two years to review arrangements for the processing of applications to the register from individuals with qualifications gained outside of the UK.
  • Healthcare professionals whose qualification has been recognised and who are registered before the agreed leave date will continue to be registered afterwards.

 

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