Connecticut, US

Dec 16 2019

How Election Results Affect Brexit

United Kingdom

At a Glance

  • The Conservative Party has won the United Kingdom’s general election.
  • It is expected that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill paving the way for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union on January 31, 2020 will pass through the new Parliament on or approximately December 20, 2019.
  • If the Withdrawal Agreement is passed in Parliament, there will be a ‘transition period’ and free movement will continue in the United Kingdom and the European Union until December 31, 2020.
  • EU nationals residing in the United Kingdom by December 31, 2020 will have until June 21, 2021 to apply to remain in the United Kingdom under the EU Settlement Scheme.  UK nationals residing in the EU by December 31, 2020 will have until June 21, 2021 to register or apply for residence, according to the process adopted in the EU country where they reside.

The situation

The Conservative Party has won 364 out of the 650 seats in the House of Commons. This has provided the Conservative Party with a large majority of 76, its biggest general election victory since 1987. This majority allows the Conservative Party to make political progress with Brexit, previously not possible.

A closer look

It is widely expected that the Withdrawal Agreement will now pass through Parliament. If the Withdrawal Agreement is passed in Parliament, there will be a ‘transition period’ and free movement will continue in the United Kingdom and the European Union until December 31, 2020. EU nationals residing in the United Kingdom by December 31, 2020 will have until June 21, 2021 to apply to remain in the United Kingdom under the EU Settlement Scheme. UK nationals residing in the European Union by December 31, 2020 will have until June 21, 2021 to register or apply for residence, according to the process adopted in the EU country where they reside.

Impact

  • Avoiding no-deal Brexit. Passage of the Withdrawal Agreement would provide relief from the consequences of a no-deal Brexit.
  • New immigration scheme ahead. From January 1, 2021, a new immigration regime is expected in the United Kingdom that would apply to any EU national relocating to the United Kingdom from that date.
  • EU nationals in the United Kingdom. Fragomen recommends any moves planned for early 2021 are brought forward, or in some circumstances that prospective employees visit the United Kingdom and make an application before the cut off. It will likely cost more and take longer to recruit EU nationals from 2021, and it is not clear whether overseas workers will be able to travel to fill lower skilled jobs in the United Kingdom, and those who are allowed may be limited to 12 or 24 months’ stay.
  • UK nationals in EU countries after 2021. UK nationals arriving in EU countries (other than Ireland) on or after January 1, 2021 will be subject to the standard immigration rules for non-EU foreign workers, which vary from country to country. Similarly, business travellers will have to comply with the specific restrictions in each country they visit.

 

These and other impacts are covered in Fragomen’s new guide on post-election updates here.

Looking ahead

It is expected that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill will come before the new Parliament on or approximately December 20, 2019. If the Withdrawal Agreement is passed in Parliament, there will be a ‘transition period’ and free movement will continue until December 31, 2020. EU nationals residing in the United Kingdom by December 31, 2020 will have until June 21, 2021 to apply to remain in the United Kingdom under the EU Settlement Scheme. UK nationals residing in the European Union by December 31, 2020 will have until June 21, 2021 to register or apply for residence, according to the process adopted in the EU country where they reside.

Brexit continues to be an incredibly complex and uncertain political issue that carries risks to your business. Please contact a Fragomen immigration professional for assistance in planning contingency arrangements.

For more information, please visit Fragomen's dedicated Brexit site, which contains news, FAQs, and analysis/commentary in the form of blogs, videos, webcasts and events.

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 londoninfo@fragomen.com.