Understanding the Brexit process: Advice from Government

The UK is currently due to leave the European Union on 31 January 2020.

A UK Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future relationship between the UK and EU were endorsed by the European Council.

The House of Commons must vote to approve the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration before the Withdrawal Agreement can be ratified and enter into force.

Keeping up to date

The Government publishes regularly updated guidance on Brexit online. You can sign up to these e-mail updates now to get automatic notifications of anything new.

A communities toolkit is available now for community leaders to promote the settlement scheme as well as to bid for potential grant funding for community and voluntary groups to target services to support the scheme, particularly to vulnerable citizens and their families.

Online guidance is provided at gov.uk by the Home Office. Registered immigration advisers, including some Citizen’s Advice Bureaux, can provide detailed guidance.

EU citizens' rights

If you are an EU citizen, the Settlement Scheme allows you and your close family members to continue to live and work in the UK after Brexit.

Settled status means you will remain eligible for:

  • public services, such as healthcare and schools
  • public funds and pensions
  • British citizenship, if you want to apply and meet the requirements.

The scheme will opened fully on 30 March 2019. You will need to register for the scheme online by 30 June 2021. You can sign up to receive updates by email.

Help registering online is available from Peterborough Central Library.

A Government policy paper sets out the government’s intention in the event of no-deal:

  • EU citizens and their families living in the UK up to 31 October 2019 will have broadly the same entitlements to healthcare, education, benefits and social housing including supported housing and homelessness assistance that they have now.
  • Any EU citizen living in the UK by 31 December 2020 can apply under the settlement scheme - which will remain open until 31 December 2020.
  • EU identity cards will initially remain valid for travel to the UK.

Irish citizens' rights

Irish citizens don’t need to apply under the Settlement scheme. The Government has published guidance on rights of Irish citizens under the Common Travel Area, which are not dependent on UK’s future relationship with the EU.

EFTA citizens' rights

The Government has reached agreements on the rights of Citizens of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein allowing them to use the settlement scheme. These agreements are subject to ratification. The policy paper, Citizens' Rights - EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, includes a statement on EFTA citizens’ rights in the event of no deal.

Driving with an EU licence

Guidance on preparing to drive in the EU after Brexit is available on the GOV.UK website.

International Travel

If the Withdrawal Act is ratified, UK Citizens can continue to travel to the EU states on the same basis as now until the end of December 2020. In the event of no deal, points to consider for travel to EU/ EEA are:

  • Passports: Guidance is that UK passports should be no older than 9 years and 6 months on the day of travel.
  • Visas: Both the EU and UK have announced the intention to continue visa free travel for short trips to the EU.
  • Driving licences: An International Driving Permit may be required.
  • Vehicle Insurance: A Green Card may be required.
  • EHIC cards: Access to reciprocal healthcare using EHIC cards may not be available.

Information and advice for Businesses and Employers

Settlement scheme for employers

The Government has produced an Employers Toolkit to explain the EU settlement scheme to employees. The toolkit contains a range of ready to use leaflets and posters.

You may also wish to look at information from trade organisations or bodies such as the Federation For Small Businesses.