Deal or No Deal!

How different Brexit deals could affect employment and immigration

This guidance compares what we know about the Prime Ministers deal with no deal,

Employment Law


  • There are no plans to change UK employment law, legislation flowing from the EU Withdrawal ACT seeks to maintain the current statute book where not already under UK law and the proposed deal means that the ECJ retains a role in enforcing this during any transition period and, to a certain extent, afterwards.
  • The direct pipeline of EU law into UK law would be broken, but the UK will agree to broadly keep peace on a ‘non regression’ basis with future EU employment law under the terms of any future free trade deal.
  • would ‘non regression’ be enforced through a joint UK/EU quasi judicial body with subsequent enforcement through binding arbitration?
  • There will be no significant employer friendly liberalisation of UK employment law any time soon.

No Deal

  • As above, except UK will have more freedom to implement whichever employment laws it chooses as no formal agreement with the EU on ‘non regression’ will apply.

Immigration Law


  • The EU Settlemtn Status Scheme has under gone two pilots and will be open to a large number of EU nationals in the UK from 21 January 2019. Those who arrive in the UK before 31 December 2020 will be eligible. Application must be made by the end of June 2021.
  • The Whole Paper largely accepts the key recommendation of the Migration Advisory Committee with regard to EU workers after any transition perod ends. There will be a lengthy period of consultation about the proposed changes and it is unlikely this will be introduced prior to 2020. Under consultation is the use of Tier for skilled workers, lower skilled workers could qualify for a visa whhich lasts for 12 months only, with most others requiring a role with a minimum salary (expected to be in the region of £30,000 per year).
  • Arrangements are now being introduced for the processes to be followed for UK nationals in Europe on a country by country basis.

No Deal

  • The EU Settled Status Scheme will be used but the dates are shorter in a no deal scenario : individuals must be in the UK before 29 March 2019 to be eligible and applications must be made before 31 December 2020.
  • Free movement will be preserved immediately sfter 29 March 2019 but the UK will have the ability to make changes from that date. It is likely that the White Paper consultation will continue and free movement will end when the new framework is in place.
  • EU countries have also started to consider the position of UK nationals in Europe in a no deal scenario. It is likely that most will follow the theme of the UK allowing those in country to remain if they arrived before Brexit.
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Deal or No Deal! How different Brexit deals could affect employment and immigration