Updates from the Principal to all staff regarding the EU referendum and Brexit can be found on the Principal’s webpage (Queen Mary login required).
The government has confirmed that there will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK while the UK remains in the EU. They have also confirmed that they have reached an agreement with the EU that safeguards the rights of EU citizens and their families once the UK leaves the EU.
A summary of the EU Settlement Scheme can be found below. You can find full information on the EU citizens' rights website.
The UK is to leave the EU with a deal on the 31 January 2020. As a result, there will be a ‘transitional period’ from exit until 31 December 2020. The UK’s status will not change for this period. This means:
We continue to support new EU funding bids. For queries, please contact Vicky Byers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Clinical trials and research regulations
Queen Mary Joint Research Management Office (JRMO) together with relevant research teams have put into place contingency plans to ensure continuation of its clinical trials within Europe in the event of the UK leaving without a deal. Data, sample investigational medical products and legal representation have all been considered and addressed.
The JRMO has completed the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) contingency deep dive surveys and all subsequent guidance.
Although the fundamental laws surrounding clinical trials in the UK have not changed, some changes were needed to allow for the continued sale of, and access to medicines, medical devices and clinical trials. Three separate pieces of legislation have been put into place, all of which come into force on exit day.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) continues to update their website with guidance to keep the clinical trials community informed in the event of the UK leaving without a deal.
Any questions or queries regarding Queen Mary-sponsored clinical trials should be sent to: Marie-Claire Good, JRMO email@example.com
EU nationals and their family members who are resident in the UK before the date the UK leaves the EU (expected to by 31 January 2020) should be protected. Your residence rights should not change, whether there is a ‘deal’ or ‘no-deal’ Brexit. Further details are contained in a Factsheet recently published by the Government.
EU nationals and their family members who are residing in the UK will need to make an application under the Settlement Scheme in order to continue to reside lawfully in the UK after 31 December 2020. Full details of the Scheme are set out in the Caseworker Guidance. The key points are as follows:
All EU nationals need to apply in order to continue to reside lawfully in the UK, subject to limited exceptions:
EU national family members of British nationals also need to apply under the Settlement Scheme – ie, there is no exemption by virtue of being, for example, the spouse or partner of a British national.
Yes. But individuals with permanent residence documents are effectively able to ‘convert’ their permanent residence status to the new settled status, subject only to verification of identity, a criminality and security check, and proof of ongoing residence.
Applications are made online and using an app. Applications can usually be completed in around 15 minutes. The default position is to grant applications, rather than to look for reasons to refuse. Applicants are afforded an opportunity to provide supplementary evidence or remedy any deficiencies in the evidence provided where it appears that a simple omission has occurred. More than one million applications have now been processed. The Government have published a how to guide for making an application to the scheme.
The eligibility criteria are straightforward. Applicants are required to meet three core criteria:
There is no requirement to have private medical insurance to qualify under the Settlement Scheme. EU nationals do not need to account for every absence from the UK (ie, a travel log is not be required) and there is no requirement to establish English language competency. Furthermore, there is no requirement for EU nationals to have been undertaking qualifying activities during the five year period – eg, being in employment, or being a student.
The Settlement Scheme is free of charge.
A person must have been continuously resident in the UK for five years in order to be eligible to apply for settled status. In general, a person will have been continuously resident if they have not been absent from the UK for more than six months in total in any 12 month period. There is no restriction on the number of absences permitted, provided that the total period of absence does not exceed six months in any 12 month period. Limited exceptions apply and these are set out in the Caseworker Guidance.
Settled status will enable EU nationals to reside in the UK in any capacity and undertake any lawful activity. They will continue to have access to UK benefits (eg, healthcare, benefits, pension and social security) in a similar manner to British nationals.
Most applications are dealt with on the day they are lodged. In some cases it can take slightly longer, but usually no more than four calendar days. The current average processing times are published on the Government website.
Yes. The deadline for applications will 31 December 2020 in a ‘no-deal’ scenario. It is expected to be 30 June 2021 in a ‘deal’ scenario. The Government has confirmed that even in a ‘no-deal’ scenario you do not need to apply before the UK leaves the EU.
Settled status will be lost if a person spends more the five continuous years outside the UK. But it should be possible to ‘re-set’ the clock for the five years by returning to the UK for a short period of time.
The Government has confirmed that the Settlement Scheme will run for EU nationals who are resident in the UK by the date the UK leaves the EU. So your rights should be unaffected. The key differences compared with the terms contained in the draft Withdrawal Agreement are as follows:
No. EU nationals who are resident in the UK but who are abroad on business or holiday or living overseas temporarily on the exit date will still be protected. The Government has confirmed that EU nationals will not need a visa to re-enter the UK from after the exit date.
Yes, but the details will depend on whether there is a ‘deal’ or ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
‘Deal’ scenario - if the terms contained in the draft Withdrawal Agreement are implemented, the position will be as follows:
‘No-deal’ scenario – in a ‘no-deal’ scenario, family reunion rights will be more limited:
Yes. EU nationals will continue to be able to enter the UK without a visa in the period up to 31 December 2020. We do not have details of the immigration rules from 1 January 2021, but it is likely there will be a route enabling EU nationals to enter the UK for short-term visits (eg, to see family, holiday, attend meetings and job interviews).
Further information is available as follows:
The European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR) scheme was recently announced by the Government. EU nationals will continue to be able to enter the UK freely to live and work from the date the UK leaves the EU until 31 December 2020. No documentation will be required to do so. However, a person who moves to the UK after a no-deal exit and wishes to remain resident beyond 31 December 2020 will need to apply to the Euro TLR scheme. The application deadline will be 31 December 2020. Further details can be found here.
Euro TLR is a temporary status in the UK. It will grant the holder permission to remain in the UK for 36 months. At the end of this period, holders of Euro TLR will need to apply for further permission to remain in the UK under the new immigration system (expected to be implemented from January 2021). The Government has indicated that time spent in the UK with Euro TLR status will count towards residency requirements for future indefinite leave to remain / settlement applications.
The current proposals are that Euro TLR applications will be made online using simple ID checks. It is anticipated that the application process will be very similar to that of the Settlement Scheme with no application fee being payable. Further details are due to be published in due course.
In a ‘deal’ scenario, there is expected to be no change to travel requirements for EU nationals entering the UK and British nationals entering the EU until at least 1 January 2021.
In a ‘no-deal’ scenario the situation for EU nationals travelling to the UK will remain largely unchanged until 1 January 2021. There will be no requirement to obtain a visa for travel to the UK for the period up to 31 December 2020. The Government has indicated security checks will continue in the same way and EU nationals are still able to travel on either their passport of national ID card (though the use of EEA ID cards as an acceptable travel document will be phased out through 2020).
The European Council has confirmed that, in the event of ‘no-deal’, it will allow visa-free travel to all EU/EEA and Swiss countries, including those not in the Schengen zone, for a period of up to 90 days (across any 180 day period). This will remain the case provided the UK reciprocates on the same basis. There will be no restrictions on stay during that 90 day period. British nationals should ensure that they have more than six months remaining on their passport and that the passport is not more than 10 years old. Further details on travel arrangement can be found here.
There should be no change to your ability to enter the UK and work until 1 January 2021. You will not require a visa to enter the UK to work. The Government has announced that from 1 January 2021 it will be implementing a ‘frontier worker permit’ to enable you to continue to enter the UK to live and work. You may also be eligible to apply under the Settlement Scheme, but depending on your level of absences from the UK you may qualify only for pre-settled status. Details in relation to frontier workers can be found here.
The Government has provided advice on how to prepare to drive in the EU after Brexit, including information on Green Cards which can be obtained from your insurance provider. A Green Card is evidence of motor insurance cover when driving abroad. Currently, you do not need a motor insurance Green Card to drive a UK registered vehicle in the EU, EEA, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland. Following the UK’s exit from the EU, if there is no EU exit deal and the European Commission does not make a decision ensuring that UK registered vehicles will not be checked for proof of insurance, drivers of UK registered vehicles will need to carry a motor insurance Green Card when driving in the EU and EEA.
In December 2018, the Government published a White Paper containing proposals for a new immigration system. It confirmed that freedom of movement will end and there will be a new skills based immigration system which will apply to EU and non-EU nationals alike with effect from 1 January 2021. There will also be provision for EU nationals to visit the UK on a short-term basis (eg, to visit family, holiday, attend meetings and interviews etc) without having to obtain a visa in advance and the intention is to continue to facilitate the use of e-gates for entry to the UK in these circumstances. Further details are expected to be published in due course.
EU nationals may be eligible to apply to naturalise as British citizen (ie, to become a British citizen), but this will not be necessary to continue living and working in the UK after Brexit. Further guidance can be found here.
Different requirements apply depending on whether the applicant is married to, or the civil partner, of a British national:
EU nationals who are not married to, or the civil partner of, a British national must be free of immigration restrictions for 12 months before they can apply for citizenship. In practice, this means that such individuals cannot apply for citizenship until 12 months have elapsed since the date they acquired permanent residence / settled status.
EU nationals who are married to, or the civil partner of, a British national can apply for citizenship once they have acquired permanent residence / settled status (ie, the requirement to be free of immigration control for 12 months does not apply).
The other key requirements relate to residence, future intentions (where the applicant does not have a British national spouse or civil partner), good character, knowledge of the English language, and knowledge of life in the UK (applicants must pass a multiple choice exam).
The residence requirements are quite restrictive. These requirements vary, depending on whether the applicant has a British national spouse or civil partner. As a general rule, applicants who do not have as British national spouse or civil partner should have spent no more than 450 days outside the UK in the preceding five year period. During the last 12 months of the five year period the applicant should have spent no more than 90 days outside the UK. But higher rates of absence are permissible in certain circumstances. It should be noted that these continuity requirements are more onerous than for permanent residence.
Very careful consideration should be given by an EU national as to whether naturalisation is an appropriate course of action. An EU national’s home country may not allow dual nationality, meaning that acquiring British citizenship may result in renouncing original nationality, possibly permanently. An EU national should consider obtaining advice in their home jurisdiction.
In general, British citizenship cannot be lost unless the person renounces it, or is deprived of it because this is considered conducive to the public good, or there is evidence that the citizenship was obtained by fraud or deception.
Children of EU nationals who have resided legally with the EU national in the UK will be eligible to make and application under the Settlement Scheme.
The law relating to the acquisition of British citizenship is complicated. It is often advisable to obtain individual advice. Further guidance can be found in Guide MN1.
As a general rule the position can be summarised as follows:
Applying to register a child as British is different from the application to naturalise as a British citizen as an adult. However, naturalisation and registration applications can often be made at the same time.
Erasmus+ Student and Staff Mobility
Under the Withdrawal Agreement the UK has now entered a transition period where, while no longer an official EU member state, the UK will remain a full participating Programme Country in the current Erasmus+ Programme (2014-2020) until the 31st December 2020. However even after this date, exchanges through Erasmus+ between the UK and our European Erasmus+ partners will be able continue throughout the entire 2020/2021 academic year and funding will be available for both student and staff mobilities.
The Swiss government has confirmed funding through the Swiss European Mobility Programme (SEMP) will also be in place up until and including 2020/2021.
The UK’s participation in the new Erasmus+ programme (beginning 2021) has yet to be decided by the UK government and will be a matter for the upcoming EU-UK negotiations. Negotiations can only start after the new Programme and its budget have been finalised. This is to be expected in summer 2020.
Questions can be directed to Wiebke Leugers, Erasmus+ Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).