Virginia, US

Nov 15 2018

Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Approved

European Union, United Kingdom

The situation

The EU and the UK governments have agreed to the terms of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. However, the deal needs to be ratified by the UK parliament.  Many commentators are questioning how realistic the prospect of ratification is, with a number of Cabinet Ministers resigning from their posts this morning and opposition from Members of Parliament in all parties. The deal would confirm the terms of rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in Europe and for their non-EU family members. 

A closer look

The latest Withdrawal Agreement is consistent with previous proposals. Specifically, the agreement contains the following:

  • Foreign nationals who begin residence before January 1, 2021 will be able to apply for status to confirm their residence;
  • Foreign nationals with five years’ residence in the United Kingdom will qualify for settled status, a version of permanent residence;
  • Foreign nationals with less than five years’ residence in the United Kingdom will qualify for pre-settled status, and should be eligible for settled status after five years;
  • Foreign nationals with less than five years’ residence in the European Union will be able to apply for permanent residence after five years.



The current agreement increases the likelihood of an orderly exit with a transition period, rather than a no-deal Brexit where ties between the European Union and United Kingdom are abruptly severed on March 29, 2019.


Looking ahead

  • Next steps. The agreement must now be signed by both parties at a summit anticipated to take place on November 25, 2018 before it can be submitted to EU and UK parliaments for approval.
  • Preparing for Brexit. Fragomen can assist companies to prepare for the immigration changes that Brexit will bring, to ensure that all EU and UK staff remain work authorized, and to devise strategic recruitment policies that take Brexit into account.  Brexit is also an uncertain time for employees and employers can reassure their employees by helping them understand their entitlements, the process and deadlines.  Fragomen can help by providing webinars, town hall presentations, FAQs, a video, guide and other resources.
  • Preparing for a no deal. It is possible that the deal will not be approved by the UK parliament, leading to a no-deal Brexit. Please contact Fragomen to understand the impact of a no-deal Brexit and to create a contingency plan that mitigates risk. Fragomen’s no-deal risk register sets out the risks in the United Kingdom and European Union and creates contingency plan strategies.


This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected] / [email protected].