Free Movement of Labour

Home Office written question – answered on 31st July 2019.

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Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Liberal Democrat, Streatham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether businesses will be able to move skilled workers between UK and EU premises in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal; and what the rules governing that movement will be.

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government remains committed to reaching an agreement with the EU before the 31 October 2019. The Government has confirmed that the EU Settlement Scheme will continue to operate whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a negotiated deal. This ensures that the rights of EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK before it leaves the EU will be protected in every outcome.

In the event that a deal is not agreed with the EU, arrangements for EEA and Swiss citizens arriving for three months or less after free movement ends will not look any different. To stay longer than three months during the transitional period, newly arrived EEA and Swiss citizens will need to apply for permission. Subject to identity and criminality checks, they will be granted European Temporary Leave to Remain for a further 36 months.

If they wish to stay in the UK for longer than the 36 months, they will then need to qualify and apply under the future skills-based immigration system.

The Government published a White Paper on the future system on 18 December 2018. This committed to maintaining a route for intra-company transfers to allow companies easily to transfer existing employees from an overseas branch to their UK office. UK-based multi-national businesses will also be able to continue moving their skilled staff to the EU through the pro-visions set out in the EU’s Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer.

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