• UK Government Publishes White Paper Setting Out Brexit Plans
  • March 9, 2017
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The government today published a White Paper setting out Theresa May's plans for leaving the European Union. The document restates the 12 principles for Brexit that the Prime Minister set out in last month’s speech, and follows yesterday’s vote by Parliament in favour of triggering Article 50. The White Paper was prepared by the government in response to Parliament’s demands. The Paper sets out the government’s strategy as it begins the negotiation period, which will be triggered by Article 50 in the coming months.

    A Truly Global United Kingdom

    After Brexit, the Free Movement Directive will no longer apply and the migration of EU nationals will be subject to UK law. The Paper emphasised the aim of creating a global United Kingdom and the government stressed the need for controlling immigration, while committing to attracting international talent and especially highly-skilled immigration.

    Consultation and Phased Implementation

    Changes are likely to come through a phased process of implementation to give businesses and individuals enough time to plan and prepare. The government has committed to understand the impact on the different sectors of the economy and the labour market and will ensure that businesses and communities have the opportunity to contribute their views.

    Rights of EU Nationals in United Kingdom, and UK Nationals in the European Union

    Until such time as Brexit takes effect, the rights of EU nationals living in the United Kingdom and UK nationals living in the European Union remain unchanged. As provided for in both the EU Free Movement Directive and in UK law, those who have lived continuously and lawfully in a country for at least five years automatically have a right to permanent residence. The Paper expresses regret that no agreement has yet been reached but stresses that the United Kingdom remains ready to provide certainty and reach a reciprocal deal with the United Kingdom’s European partners at the earliest opportunity.

    Students and Academia

    The Paper states that existing EU students and those starting courses in 2016-17 and 2017-18 will continue to be eligible for student loans and home fee status for the duration of their course. Research councils will continue to fund postgraduate students from the European Union whose courses start in 2017-18.

    Key migration quotes in the Paper can be found here.