The UK Automotive industry plays a major part in contributing to the UK economy and is an attractive career option for both EU and non-EU candidates. In the past, freedom of movement has made it relatively easy for candidates to move to the UK, secure jobs within the Motor Trade and settle here.
However, Brexit has cast a huge cloud of uncertainty over the future of existing EU Nationals working in the UK and what the future process will be for EU and non-EU Nationals wanting to enter the UK to work.
At least 10% of people employed in the UK Automotive Manufacturing sector are the from elsewhere in the EU meaning the industry could face a significant skills gap if these roles are not filled once we leave the EU.
At the moment, there is very limited coverage of this issue in the withdrawal agreement so rather than speculate we will focus on what we know about the rights of existing EU and Non-EU Nationals currently working in the UK.
The Transition Period
Since Boris Johnson formed a Conservative majority government on Friday 13th December 2019 it has become increasingly probable that the UK will be leaving the EU on January 31st 2020. After this time there will be what’s known as a Transition Period during which current laws and policies around the rights of both EU nationals in the UK and Britons in the EU will remain the same.
Deal or No Deal
If the UK leaves with a deal the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU will be protected by the agreement. This means that if you’ve been living in the UK permanently for 5 years by the end of the transition period (31st December 2020) you will be able to continue living here. It is predicted that the UK will introduce a settlement scheme which is likely to mean that EU citizens will have to apply for a new residence status. The deadline for applying is 30th June 2021 and you can find out more about applying here.
Without a deal, things become a lot less certain. Some reports suggest that EU nationals living in the UK will have to qualify for the settlement scheme by the set exit day (31st January 2020) which is a lot sooner than the end of the proposed transition period (31st December 2020).
Brexit and what it means for EU citizen’s rights is an ever evolving process so for the latest information it is best to check the government’s dedicated Brexit website.