• UK Government Publishes White Paper Outlining its Proposed Future Relationship with the European Union
  • July 23, 2018
  • The situation

    A 100-page UK government White Paper provides the strongest indication so far of its future relationship with the European Union, setting out an overview of the United Kingdom’s vision for future mobility arrangements, as previously mentioned in the government’s statement last week.

    A closer look

    • Plans for reciprocal agreements.

    o The Paper states the United Kingdom would seek reciprocal agreements that would allow UK nationals to visit the European Union without a visa for short-term business reasons and equivalent arrangements for EU citizens coming to the United Kingdom. Similar to the current business visitor provisions, this would only permit paid work in limited and clearly defined circumstances.

    o The Paper also states that the United Kingdom will also seek to participate in reciprocal provisions on intra-corporate transfers that allow UK and EU-based companies to move staff between work sites and to deploy expertise where it is needed. It appears this may mirror the Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) visa provisions under the current immigration regime. There will also be discussions on how to facilitate the temporary mobility of posted workers, scientists and researchers, self-employed professionals and investors.

    • Other key points discussed.

    o Tourists. Similar to the proposals for short-term business visitors, the United Kingdom will also seek to allow EU nationals tourists to the United Kingdom to enter without a visa, and vice versa through reciprocal provisions.

    o Students and youth mobility. It is suggested that UK and EU nationals will continue to benefit from each other’s universities and cultural exchanges. Whether this means EU nationals will still benefit from the lower fees available to UK nationals is not outlined in this Paper. Furthermore, a UK-EU youth mobility scheme has been proposed that would give young people an easier route to reside in the United Kingdom. It appears that this will mirror the current youth mobility scheme available for nationals of certain countries such as Canada and Japan.

    o Easing administration processes. The United Kingdom aims to ease the administrative process involved in immigration.

    Looking ahead

    The Paper confirms that a detailed immigration system post Brexit will be formalized in a future White Paper and an Immigration Bill that will be consistent with the UK government’s intention to end free movement in the United Kingdom.

    While it is unclear to what extent the new framework will mirror the current immigration system, the Paper suggests that some provisions will be very similar.

    Fragomen will likely have more information on a new immigration system in September or October, once the Migrant Advisory Committee publishes its report on patterns of EU migration and the role of migration in the wider economy intended to inform the new system.

    Please visit Fragomen’s Brexit microsite for more information.