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Deal or no deal: update on EU citizens rights from Sophie Barrett-Brown, Laura Devine Solicitors

After nearly two years of negotiating, the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal was overwhelmingly rejected by Parliament on Tuesday. So what now for EU citizens’ rights?

In principle, Tuesday’s vote should not affect the rights of EU citizens and their family members already in the UK. In December’s proposal for citizens’ rights in a no-deal scenario, the UK government confirmed that it will continue with the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) rollout as planned.

EUSS timeline

  • 21 January 2019: scheme opens to EU nationals with valid passports and family members with valid biometric residence cards (BRCs);
  • 29 March 2019: scheme becomes available to all eligible EU citizens and family members.

No deal scenario

In a potential no-deal scenario:

  • EU citizens in the UK by 29 March 2019 should continue to benefit from the EUSS as originally planned.
  • EU citizens arriving in the UK after 29 March 2019 may be able to come to the UK until December 2020 but will then be subject to the new Immigration Rules in the same way as non-EEA nationals will be.

Deal scenario?

Although the deal was rejected, this does not (yet!) mean that the UK will leave the EU without a deal. However, as MPs debate the next steps in the Brexit process, the uncertainty felt by businesses and individuals wishing to plan for the future, continues. Laura Devine Solicitors will continue to bring you the latest developments as they happen.

Brexit Services:

Laura Devine Solicitors offer a wide range of Brexit-related services, including seminars, Brexit ‘surgery’ sessions and detailed briefings providing advice to businesses and employees. If you would like to know more about how we can help your business prepare for Brexit, please contact your usual LDS lawyer or

BFI run conferences, workshops and in-house training on Brexit featuring leading immigration lawyers, top consultants and real life case studies to ensure employers can prepare for Brexit. Hear Sophie on our next 'Workforce Planning Post-Brexit Conference: Future-Proofing Your Recruitment, Retention and Policy' in London on Tuesday 26th February 2019