Following parliament’s initial rejection of the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement on 15 January 2019, the Government was quick to outline their proposed arrangements for EU citizens in the event of a no deal Brexit. Most importantly, it was confirmed that the deadline for EU citizens and their family members to apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme would be 31 December 2020.
On 28 January 2019 Theresa May announced that parliament’s next ‘meaningful vote’ on the Withdrawal Agreement was scheduled for 13 February 2019. However, given the on-going negotiations and proposals for various amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK’s political parties, it would be prudent to consider another potential scenario in which Brexit is delayed beyond the original deadline of 29 March 2019.
If Brexit were delayed, it is uncertain what the timelines would be for EU nationals and their non-EU family members to apply for status under the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme. In such precarious times, EU citizens and their non-EU family members who have been resident in the UK for a period of 5 years or more should carefully consider protecting themselves by securing their status now. For those individuals who wish to obtain British citizenship, they should consider making an application for permanent residence under the EU Regulations. Alternatively, those who do not wish to obtain British citizenship should consider making an application for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
The EU Settlement Scheme is due to open fully by 30 March 2019, however, EU citizens with biometric passports and their non-EU family members with biometric residence cards who wish to apply for settled status can do so now during the public testing phrase.
Should you wish to discuss your and your family’s options for staying in the UK after Brexit, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.