Brexit: What will happen on 1 February 2020. Personnel Today speaks to Jonathan Beech

Jan 20, 2020

Published 17 January 2020

After much delay, the UK will leave the European Union at 11:00pm on 31 January. But with the arrangements for Brexit still unclear, how should employers be preparing for life outside the EU and will they see any immediate changes from February? Ashleigh Webber reports.

Migrate UK along with the AIRE centre, Faegre Baker Daniels and BDB Pitmans were all asked for their views.

Jonathan Beech, managing director at immigration law specialists Migrate UK told Personnel Today: “[the transition period] will be similar to the last couple of rounds of negotiating Brexit and the deal itself: should the UK leave the EU from 1 February 2020, then the immigration regime will only really change should there be a no-deal with any of the member states.”

“In this situation, those EU citizens entering the UK from a date (to be determined – but it could be 1 February 2020) will need to apply for Euro Temporary Leave to Remain which will provide three years of stay and allow work,” he says.

“Although there will be immigration rules changes expected through the year, as per normal, the new immigration system is expected to go live from January 2021. This coincides with a deal situation”.

Despite this, Beech warns it is still unclear whether all European citizens currently living in the UK are able to remain. “Employers need to encourage staff who haven’t yet done so to register under the EU Settlement Scheme by 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. This may be extended to 30 June 2021 if a deal is agreed.”

Jonathan Beech also warns employers to expect the cost of sponsoring overseas citizens to increase, both in the short term and for long-term stay beyond 31 December.

“Employers will need to think carefully about their annual Certificate of Sponsorship allocations from 6 April 2020 as this could overlap with EEA citizens requiring sponsorship from January 2021,” he explains.

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