What Brexit means for you

  • April 10, 2020

On 23rd June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU).

The exact terms of the process by which the UK will depart the EU are still unclear and may remain so for some time due to the urgent attention the COVID-19 coronavirus requires. As such, IMG Connect will continue to review our guidance for EU Nationals relocating to the UK, but for now there are some steps that you can take to explore your rights as an EU citizen. 

At IMG Connect we support every single one of our international friends and doctors, and we know that the NHS is enhanced by the contribution of doctors from every country in the world. The contribution of EEA doctors to the NHS is hugely significant across all areas of medical practice. 

What does Brexit mean for you so far…

The status of EEA doctors already registered with the UK is guaranteed. But it is unclear whether current GMC registration arrangements for EEA doctors*, which are based on the principle of mutual recognition of doctors’ qualifications and enables the GMC to grant registration very quickly, will continue after the UK leaves the EU in 2019.

The UK government has reached an agreement with the EU that will protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK. It has also reached an agreement with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and a separate agreement with Switzerland.

These agreements mean that most citizens from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland will need to apply to stay in the UK. 

*The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

EU Settlement Scheme: 

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If your application is successful, you’ll receive either settled or pre-settled status. You may be able to stay in the UK without applying - for example, if you’re an Irish citizen or have indefinite leave to remain.

The EU Settlement Scheme is open and free to apply. You can apply now if you meet the criteria. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021. Use the Government online toolkit to find out what you need to do and when. You will need to be living in the UK before it leaves the EU to apply. The deadline for applying will be 31 December 2020.

What else can I do? 

Of course, there remains uncertainty over the impact that Brexit will have on the laws regarding immigration in the United Kingdom.

So, we must stress that the information above is for general information purposes only and it may not always be up to date. We will do our upmost to keep informed and be in a position to support our EEA colleagues, for whom who we have the highest regard. 

We encourage all doctors to join our community, and show their support, field any concerns, or share and answer questions to stay connected. You can always get in touch with us at IMG Connect by requesting a call back with anything you need help with - we are here to support you individually and collectively. 

How will the coronavirus affect the UK leaving the EU?

It is very hard to say how exactly how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect Brexit, if at all. Certainly the pandemic has caused the government to divert all attention on keeping the pandemic contained and matters relating to brexit and immigration status are not being discussed with the same urgency they were previously. Whilst we endeavour to stay up to date with how these things affect EU doctors and their immigration status, we strongly advise that you stay in touch and up to date with the Government website and updates here.

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