Brexit Bulletin August 5, 2016

5 Aug, 2016

Brexit

The following is a roundup of recent developments concerning Brexit negotiations and the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Political

EU negotiator appointed

The European Commission has appointed Michel Barnier, a former French foreign minister and EU commissioner, as the chief EU negotiator to engage in Brexit negotiations with the U.K.

‘Best possible deal’

British Prime Minister Theresa May continued her European tour, ending with visits to Slovakia and Poland, where she said that the U.K. would seek the best possible deal with the EU on free movement of goods and services while addressing British voters’ desire to limit free movement of people.

Immigration

Immigration surge?

Uncertainty about EU-U.K. migration and the status of EU nationals working and living in the U.K. could cause a surge in migration in anticipation of stricter migration rules, according to a report by the U.K. Home Affairs Select Committee. The committee said EU nationals in the U.K. “must be told where they stand” in terms of the Brexit and “should not be used as bargaining chips.” In order to avoid an immigration surge, the committee recommends that the Home Office set a cutoff date – either the date of the vote, the date exit procedures are triggered or the actual exit date – and allow EU nationals who were already settled in the U.K. as of the cutoff date to become permanent residents.

Read the committee’s conclusions and recommendations here.

Read the full report here.

May on EU migrants in the U.K.

During her stop in Poland, May reiterated her position that Polish and other EU nationals currently living and working in the U.K. would be allowed to stay only if U.K. citizens living in the EU were assured their rights to remain.

Business

Economic stimulus

The Bank of England slashed its interest rate Thursday to the lowest rate ever and will push a stimulus plan amid concerns over consumer confidence and slumping economic indicators since the Brexit vote.

Things to Know

Russians more bullish on Brexit than Britons

Fifty-four percent of Russians think Brexit was the right decision for Britain, compared with only 39 percent of Britons, according to a poll published Thursday surveying 16 countries. Among the findings: more than half of Poles, Spanish and Swedes think Brexit will be bad for their respective countries; Italians are the mostly likely to boycott British goods and avoid holidays in the U.K.; Swedes are the saddest to see the U.K. leave, while the French are the least sad to say au revoir to the U.K. and the most likely to think the U.K. should be offered an unfavorable exit deal.

Read the full poll results here.

Preparing Your Business

BAL can assist businesses with the following services to prepare for a formal Brexit:

  • Assessment of a company’s EU-dependency, including the proportion of EU employees, their roles and whether they would be eligible for sponsorship under national U.K. law.
  • Tracking of existing employees and ongoing EU hires.
  • Strategies on sponsoring EEA permanent residence applications, including:
    • Preparing employers for continued compliance with the U.K.’s right-to-work regime.
    • Ensuring the continuity of employment for key staff.
    • Avoiding issues caused by breaks in employment.
  • Exploring employee options, such as:
    • EEA Registration Certificates. While some providers are recommending that EU nationals secure EEA Registration Certificates now to document their status, BAL would advise that this is an individual choice. It is not mandatory. Whether or not employees choose to obtain an EEA Registration Certificate, it is more important that they keep evidence of their presence in the U.K./EU country pre-referendum.
    • Permanent residency and British citizenship. BAL can track and manage data on when a company’s EEA national employees and their family members will qualify for permanent residence and/or British citizenship and ensure that dependent family members apply under the correct routes.

The Brexit Bulletin has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact uk@balglobal.com

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