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Home Office publishes Immigration Rules covering no-deal Brexit

28 October 2019

On 24 October the Home Office laid a new Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules, to cover the situation where the UK leaves the EU on a no-deal basis, either on 31 October 2019 or at a later date.

The statement, HC 170, only includes Rules that would apply to EEA/Swiss citizens (‘EEA citizens’), Turkish workers, Turkish businesspersons and their family members in the event of a no deal Brexit. It is a very unusual step for the Home Office to lay lengthy Immigration Rules that cover a contingency. However, with a no deal Brexit still being possible only days before the current Article 50 deadline, the Home Office has decided to give stakeholders at least some advance notice of the detail of what the Immigration Rules would be in that scenario. 

If the UK does not leave the EU under no deal conditions, a further Statement of Changes would need to be laid to remove the redundant Rules. It is to be hoped this would be done swiftly to minimise confusion for users of the immigration system.

If the provisions become effective, the statement:

  • Provides the Immigration Rules that would govern the European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro LTR) scheme – this scheme would operate on a voluntary basis for EEA/Swiss citizens who arrive in the UK after Brexit, and their family members
  • Introduces the framework and deadlines for defined family members living outside the UK at the date of Brexit to make applications under the EU Settlement Scheme and to apply for administrative review if refused
  • Applies the (more stringent) UK criminality and conduct thresholds to EEA citizens, Turkish workers, Turkish businesspersons and their family members in a range of circumstances, including whether to deport a person, refuse their entry to the UK or application for leave, or to cancel or curtail their leave. It also defines when pre-exit conduct will be taken into consideration.

For further details of the arrangements that would apply in the event of no deal, see our earlier alert, here.

If you have any queries about this development, please contact the Immigration Team.

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