The headline for EU nationals already in the UK
All EU nationals resident in the UK before the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 will have a right to settle permanently in the UK and with their families and dependents will have until early 2021 to apply for this.
These future rights will be written into UK law through the UK’s EU Withdrawal agreement and these rights will be enforceable in UK Courts. Similar to the current position, UK Courts will have the power to ask the European Court of Justice for an interpretation for 8 years after Brexit, and the new rights will cover the family members (including unmarried partners, parents and grandparents) and dependents currently protected under EU Law.
EU Nationals who have already been granted a certificate of permanent residence will be able to covert this into the new settled status without paying an additional fee and healthcare, pensions and benefits rights will continue unchanged.
The cost of applying for settled status will be no more than the cost of a UK passport and the UK Government will open the new application system in the second half of 2018. EU nationals resident in the UK before the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019 will have until 2021 to submit an application for settled status. Once they have acquired settled status, they will be able to live and work in the UK as now indefinitely, and the status is only lost if the holder is absent from the UK for 5 years.
UK Manufacturers will be relieved that the UK and EU have reached agreement on the future rights of EU workers in the UK, and secured reciprocal agreement for UK nationals in the EU. Many employers will now want to ensure that they clearly communicate this to their EU workers before they leave for their Christmas break and that their EU workers, their families and dependents know that their futures in the UK are secure.
EEF will be producing a range of tools for members in early 2018 to support both them and their EU workers as the new system in the UK is introduced.