As I write, the position surrounding Brexit continues to be extremely unclear. Not only are we unsure of the timing or type of Brexit to expect, but also how this will affect people’s right to travel to, work and live within the UK. Over the last few weeks you may have seen media commentary on the subject, and I am aware that this will be very unsettling for many members of the University community. Whether you are a citizen of another country; have friends, family or colleagues from other countries or are simply concerned about the mood in the nation regarding these issues, I thought it worth reiterating some of the support and guidance the University can offer.
The UK Government has committed to protect the rights of EU(1) nationals and their family members currently living in the UK. If you are an EU citizen, but not of British or Irish nationality, and you wish to retain these rights, you will probably need to apply for ‘settlement’ which allows you and your family members to get the immigration status you will need to continue to live, work and study here in the UK. This status means that you continue to be eligible for public services, such as healthcare and schools; public funds and pensions and British citizenship, if you want to apply and meet the requirements.
Advice is available on this process on our web-pages. At present we do not know if, or how this might change following Brexit, so if you are considering an application, it might be worth doing this early. As with the last two years, we are also planning to run some more free legal advice sessions in October, which will be open to members of the University and family members. Look out for details.
If you are a manager, and have staff joining the University after the proposed Brexit date, there remains considerable uncertainty about future immigration issues. The latest Government guidance is here and it outlines how people will be able to apply for temporary leave to remain (for up to three years) and provides information about EU citizens moving and travelling to the UK after Brexit. You might wish to keep in touch with these individuals to check their situation; the HR team will also be in touch to support people in their transition to working here.
If you have concerns, do speak to your line manager or Head of Department. If they are unable to help, do contact the HR team who will try and provide support.
Finally, if you have concerns about a student related to Brexit, please call Student Services on extension 4321.
Further practical information will be shared in the coming weeks on a number of different topics.
With kind regards,
Director of Human Resources
Note 1. The arrangements set out also apply to citizens of the EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), but you should always check latest Government information.