BEERG: Brexit Will Produce Freedom of Movement Headaches for EU and UK Workers Alike

June 26, 2020

The UK’s proposal for a new migration system will represent a very significant tightening of controls on EU migration, especially for those in lower skilled/paid occupations, compared to the current system of free movement under the EU.

Freedom of movement will end on December 31.  Thereafter, the UK will introduce a new, points-based immigration system which will apply equally to anyone looking to move to the UK, no matter where in the world they come from.

Irish citizens moving to the UK for work will be the only exception to the new system, while EU (and EEA/Swiss) nationals already resident in the UK are able to apply to remain indefinitely under the “settled status” scheme.

Migrants coming to work in the UK in lower-skilled/paid occupations will in principle no longer be able to gain entry.  Even those who do qualify will need their prospective employers to apply on their behalf, will have to pay significant fees, and will, as is the case for non-EU migrants at present, have significantly fewer rights, for example in respect of access to the benefit system.  Further challenges will present themselves in work travel for UK citizens migrating to the EU. 

Read the BEERG Perspective on EU-UK Freedom of Movement After Brexit here

Read the most recent BEERG Global Labor Newsletter here

Discuss this story on HR Policy Online.