The recent comments made by Theresa May on the future of immigration into a post-Brexit UK have caused further concern for EU citizens living in the UK.
The Prime Minister has clarified that there will be no second referendum, nor any Commons vote on triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (the mechanism by which the UK will leave the EU), and that the UK will not stay in the EU “by the back door”.
Debate continues as to the actual details of what Brexit will look like.
May has now ruled out a points-based immigration system on the grounds that it does not guarantee sufficient controls over who may enter the UK. There is continuing speculation that she may instead be planning to introduce a work permit system for EU citizens.
However there continues to be no confirmation as to the future for EU citizens who have already established their lives, careers and families in the UK.
The date on which the UK will trigger Article 50 seems marginally clearer, with the Prime Minister having pledged not to do so until the beginning of 2017 at the earliest.
Discussions over the exact terms of the UK’s exit will continue for two years from that point, at the end of which the UK will officially leave the EU, unless all 28 members of the EU agree to extend the period of negotiations.
Our advice is that if you are an EU national or a family member of an EU national living in the UK, you should act now to ensure that your immigration status is protected as far as possible. We are able to offer you advice as to the options available, and the length of time the various courses of action take to complete.
Please contact June Holmes in our Immigration Department on 0191 243 8164 us to make an appointment if you are thinking of regularising your immigration status or seeking further information as to what your options are.