Ealing is home to people from all over the world who make a huge contribution to the community and this includes around 55,000 people from other countries in the European Union. Following the UK vote to leave the European Union (EU) in the referendum on 23 June 2016, there has been some uncertainty about the future rights for people from other EU countries, including their right to remain in the UK.
Ealing Council believes diversity is one of the boroughs greatest strengths and wants to protect the rights of all its residents, including EU citizens.
In April 2018 Ealing councillors voted to support all EU citizens in the borough and wants to assure them that they are valued and welcome in Ealing. The council has written to the government asking it to guarantee EU citizens’ rights, in the event of a hard Brexit, or any other circumstances. The council has also asked the government to give all UK citizens the final say on any Brexit deal.
In March 2019 Ealing's cabinet endorsed a report which identified the work taking place to prepare for exit from the EU. Understanding the impact of Brexit allows the council to prepare as best it can with the information avalable to ensure continuity of support to residents and businesses, regardless of what the outcome of Brexit negotiations are and the future relationship with the EU.
The full impact of Britain exiting the European Union upon EU Citizens living in the UK will not be known until the negotiations between the UK and the EU are completed. Individual circumstances will vary and in some circumstances residents adversely affected by Brexit may benefit from seeking independent legal advice. Additional information is also available on GOV.UK
Current situation for people from countries in the European Union
Those who already have five years continuous lawful resident in the UK will be eligible for settled status. Others will be able to remain in the UK to build-up five years' continuous residence provided they apply for pre-settled status.
The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021, though you must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. If you're joining a family member in the UK you may be able to apply after this date.
EU citizens and their family members who obtain settled status in the UK will be granted indefinite leave to stay. Family members is defined as spouses (husband/wife), civil partners and durable partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and dependent grandparents.
Indefinite leave to remain provides the same rights and access to benefits, education and healthcare as those who have acquired permanent status.
Children born or adopted after the UK leaves the EU to those covered by the agreement will be protected. Future spouses and partners of EU citizens who want to come to the UK after 29 March 2019, will need to meet the UK's immigration rules.
The Prime Minister recently confirmed that, even in the result of a 'no deal' situation, the protections and processes above would remain.
Ealing Council continues to call for clarity and reassurance from government on what the business and trade agreements will be post-Brexit and the implications for Ealing.
The Government has created an employer's toolkit with advice and information to support EU citizens and their families to apply to the EU settlement scheme.
The Government has also created an online toolkit - Prepare your business for the UK leaving the EU - which provides guidance for businesses, what is changing in their industry and information on specific rules and guidance.
For further information about the potential impact on businesses, what support is available and proposals for how Brexit should be approached from a business perspective see:
- Confederation of British Industry
- Federation of Small Businesses
- London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Institute of Directors
- British Chambers of Commerce
Find more information about exiting the EU and UK residence, or to register with the Home Office in order to receive information updates on GOV.UK
As has been the case prior to the referendum, if you are an extended family member from the European Economic Area (EEA), or a Swiss person and are not qualified in your own right, you can apply for a registration certificate. View the online application or paper application
The European Commission has provided some useful frequently asked questions and answers regarding the rights of EU Citizens in the UK.
For free advice on obtaining residence documentation for EEA nationals and their family to achieve settled status, see the UK Citizenship for European Nationals.
The London Assembly has information about Brexit, including impact assessments, the work of its committees and the views of the Mayor of London.
On the The Local Government Association website, which represents councils across England and Wales, there is an explanation of the reassurances and commitments local government wants from the government.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), which promotes the voluntary sector and volunteering, has a Brexit section which explores the issues for its sector.