Newland Chase were delighted to attend a breakfast briefing on Monday 16th October with Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Chair of the Committee on Exiting the European Union.
Invitees were reminded that the UK is currently facing it’s biggest political overhaul of all time, with a focus on the practicalities of moving EU law into local UK law and the associated obstacles of doing so.
The Select Committee is adamant that there should be a unilateral commitment to EU nationals presently in the UK however attendees noted the potential problems in doing so. This includes ensuring EU nationals are not in a more advantageous position over UK nationals – which, as current immigration policy stands, is the case given that EU nationals are not required to demonstrate a minimum salary threshold before their family members can join them.
It was understood that transitional arrangements, if agreed, will be ready for public consumption in December 2017. However, given that no agreement is yet made on transitional arrangements at the time of writing, this could be pushed back. It was further understood that any immigration controls on EU nationals post-Brexit will just be for those that are working in the UK as opposed to those coming for a genuine visit here.
Discussions were also had about a much-mooted London-specific work permit scheme post-Brexit and the pitfalls of doing so. It was clear from attendees that regional immigration requirements and shortage occupations must be taken into consideration before any final immigration policy is released.
The Committee clearly has an uphill struggle ahead. The concept of leaving the EU is becoming a reality, however, with nothing agreed at this time, it is key for the Committee to have deals in place with the EU by March 2019 to ensure that the UK, EU workers currently here and British nationals in the EU, don’t fall off a cliff edge.
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