Advice Centre

Is Brexit Going to Happen?

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Posted in: Brexit, Immigration
Date published: 11/02/2019

Common questions asked by  EU nationals residing in the UK on the Government’s current position.  Here we provide a brief summary of the latest Government and Home Office guidance available to the public.

Will there be a second referendum?

Many European nationals living in the UK- numerous IMD Solicitors clients included among them – would regret that they did not have the right to vote on such an important matter as the UK’s membership in the European Union. Undoubtedly, this was one of the reasons we have dealt with such an increased number of applications for naturalisation over last few months.

Will we have a chance to vote again?

The government is willing to accept the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK and the Leaders of the European Union, providing the EU agrees to no hard border between the UK and Ireland. With the EU agreement to the proposed amendment, the UK would leave on the 29th of March 2019 with the deal negotiated by the Prime Minister.

It does, however, seem unlikely that the EU leaders would welcome any further negotiations.

Donald Tusk, the President of the EU Council, amongst many other EU leaders, made a clear statement that ‘’…The Withdrawal Agreement is not open for renegotiations.’’

If the attempt to agree the amendment fails then it seems that EU citizens and UK businesses will not be any closer to knowing what is going to happen next, but the vision of a no deal Brexit seems to be more likely than a second referendum.

If the UK leaves the EU on the 29th of March, how it will affect the Citizen’s rights?

All EU citizens that do not have British citizenship will have to apply for a settled status, if prior to exit date they lived in the UK for 5 years. EU citizens that have not been living in the UK for five years before the exit date, will be able to apply for a pre settled status. They will be able to continue to live in the UK until the time they have acquired the right to permanently reside and then will have to make a second application for a settled status. The deadline for all applications will be 30 June 2021. The deadline to apply will be 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves without a deal.

Should EU citizens continue to apply for the Permanent Residence Document?

EU citizens applying for settled status by the due date, able to provide Permanent Residence Documents, will not have to pay and will not have to prove their 5 years of continuous residence, the process of applying for a settled status will be streamlined. It is, however, possible to apply for a settled or a pre-settled status now in a test phase.

The current guidance confirms that with the permanent residence document, providing the entitlement was acquired more than 12 months ago, it is possible to apply for British Citizenship as soon as the card is obtained.

To apply for British Citizenship with the settled status, ( also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’) unless the applicant is married to a British Citizen, the status must have been held for 12 months.

How the rights of EU citizens entering the UK following the EU exit will change?

Unfortunately, more clarity is still needed to answer all questions about Brexit, but it is quite certain that the free movement will stop in April if the UK leaves with no deal. If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified, then free movement may continue until the end of the transition period. If there is no deal, EU citizens rriving in the UK after March 2019 will not be eligible to apply for settled status and they will be subject to domestic immigration rules.

To Find Out More

If you would like to know more about the issue and discuss your immigration status, please contact one of our immigration experts, Iwona Durlak, at; or Maria Mazurenko at or visit the immigration section of our website:

Or Call Us: 0330 107 0107

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.

Published by:

Iwona DurlakSenior Partner

Immigration Law – IMD Solicitors LLP

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