Brexit: Latest developments on the future of EU nationals working in the UK

Employers who are monitoring the latest Brexit negotiations on the future status of EU nationals working in the UK may welcome the reassurance delivered by the Prime Minister in Florence recently that it remains one of her ‘first goals…. to ensure that [EU citizens] can carry on living…as before’, and that ‘the guarantee on….rights is real’.

The Prime Minister says that ‘significant progress’ has been made, and this appears to include a concession that the UK courts will be able to take into account judgments of the European Court of Justice with a view to ensuring consistent interpretation around underlying EU law.  The UK is also offering to guarantee rights of return for settled EU citizens in the UK, who leave the UK, in return for the same rights for UK nationals living in the EU.

In practical terms, however, for now little has changed in relation to the impact of EU nationals currently working in the UK.  Home Office advice remains that there ‘is no need for EU citizens living in the UK to do anything now’, although individuals are encouraged to sign up for the email alerts so that they can be notified of any developments as they happen.

The Government’s proposals for the new immigration regime were outlined in June 2017, and it says that it will now be engaging on the design and delivery of a proposed Settlement Scheme, which it is committed to making as streamlined and user friendly as possible.

Employers therefore need to keep a watching brief to ensure they understand the latest developments and the potential impact on any EU nationals in their workforces.