EU Worker December 2019 Update – Brexit No Deal Settlement Plan

Although Brexit is looming, negotiations still ongoing, and there is still a lot of uncertainty over the nature of our future relationship with the EU.

With a no deal Brexit now looking like a realistic prospect, we understand that EU citizens working in the UK may be getting worried about the potential implications for both them and their families.

Thankfully, we have some reassuring news to share – as earlier this month, the Home Office announced its contingency plans, setting out information on what will happen to EU citizens in the event of a no deal exit.

In this post, we outline the changes and what they mean for citizens in a no deal situation.

EU Settlement Scheme Continues as Planned

The headline news is that if there is no deal, the EU Settlement Scheme will still be implemented, as planned – and will be fully open for applications by 30th March 2019.

In practice, this means that EU citizens and their families living in the UK by 29th March 2019 will be able to work, study and access benefits and services in the same way as they do now. They will be able to apply for either settled or pre-settled status, depending on how long they have been in the UK.

Irish citizens and those with indefinite leave to enter or indefinite leave to remain in the UK will not have to apply for settled status.

A Commitment to Granting Status

The UK government also confirmed that, even in the event of a no deal, it will still continue to look to grant settled or pre-settled status, rather than refuse it.

It has pledged to be more generous (in certain aspects) than the draft Withdrawal Agreement, and will not refuse status under the scheme simply because citizens are not economically active, or do not hold comprehensive medical insurance.

Application Deadline and Other Changes

A no-deal scenario would have some impact, and the government has announced a couple of changes to the EU Settlement Scheme in the event we leave without an agreement.

The most important of these is that the deadline for applying for settled status will be brought forward, from 30th June 2021 to 31st December 2020. In addition, the Settlement Scheme will only be guaranteed for EU Citizens who are living in the UK by 29th March 2019, and not those who arrive before December 2020 (as there will be no Brexit implementation period).

There may also be future changes to those using EU identity cards after the introduction of the new UK immigration system from January 2021. Full information about the rights of EU workers in a no deal Brexit scenario can be found in this policy document.

Further information

Additional information about the EU Settlement Scheme, current regulations and application process can be found on the government website, at

Current EU Citizens living in the UK can also sign up for email update alerts, and information on developments about the next steps they need to take to secure settled status here.

Expert advice and guidance for EU workers from Prestige

At Prestige Recruitment, we’re 100% committed to supporting candidates from EU countries, and to keep them updated with all the changes, legislation and processes regarding settlement and working, both now and after Brexit, in whatever form it takes.

Our team members are always happy to provide honest, expert advice and support, and we can signpost candidates to all the right information and resources needed to ensure they can continue to work and live in the UK after Brexit.

For additional information or proactive recruitment support, contact your local Prestige office today.


Posted: Wed 12 Dec 2018
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