One Year After Senior Partner Teni Shahiean Appeared On The Victoria Derbyshire Show – What Has Changed For EU Nationals?
Just over a year ago, our senior partner, Teni Shahiean, appeared on BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show to discuss what would happen to EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in Europe, if Britain left the EU.
It was March 2016. The EU Referendum had not yet happened. Predictions abounded that Remain would prevail and all this madness would quickly end in time for us all to enjoy a glorious summer.
How wrong we were.
Three months after Teni gave her interview, the UK voted for Brexit by a 4% majority. Nine months on and Prime Minister Theresa May, despite pressure from Immigration lawyers and lobby groups such as 3million, will still not provide reassurance possible to EU nationals living in the UK and confirm their rights once Britain formally leaves the bloc.
Oh, and the Scottish National Party has called for another independence referendum. Nationalists in Northern Ireland may soon follow.
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What Teni predicted in her interview back in March 2016 regarding EU nationals
During the interview, Teni was asked what may happen to EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in Europe, if Britain voted for Brexit in the coming June.
Teni gave the only answer available at the time (and now for that matter); no one was sure. She also commented that the uncertainty was causing concern, not only for EU nationals living in the UK but for UK citizens residing elsewhere in the EU. The business community also appeared to be losing confidence.
When discussing if people residing in the UK would have to leave immediately if Britain voted to leave, Teni assured viewers that it would take some time for negotiations between the UK and the bloc to conclude. She predicted that the likelihood was that the status quo would remain for existing residents until negotiations concluded
However, she observed that EU nationals moving to the UK and UK citizens decamping to an EU country may not be so fortunate. And this prediction is looking more and more likely to come to fruition.
Free movement of EU nationals to the UK to end early?
Last month, it was reported by The Independent that the Prime Minister planned to end rights given to EU nationals coming to Britain when she triggers Article 50; an action expected to take place at the end of March. It is predicted that any EU citizens coming to the UK following the trigger of Article 50 will not be permitted to stay permanently.
But what of the fate of those already here?
Dramatic surge in EU permanent residence Card applications
Since the vote for Brexit, there has been a dramatic increase in EU permanent residence Card (PRC) applications. Unfortunately, a recent report has shown that up to 28% of PRC submissions were rejected by the Home Office in the last two quarters of 2016. It is, therefore, good practice for applicants to engage an experienced Immigration solicitor to prepare the PRC application which will ensure the best chance of a positive result.
Predictions for 2017?
A year after Teni’s interview, we do know a few things for certain. The UK will leave the EU. Article 50 is likely to be triggered around the end of this month. And unfortunately, Theresa May has every intention of using the rights of EU nationals living in the UK as bargaining chips to try and secure a good exit deal for Britain.
The best course of action that EU nationals residing in the UK can take is to instruct an experienced Immigration lawyer to assist them with applying for a PRC or British Citizenship. Those who are exercising their Treaty rights as a student or self-employed person need to get Comprehensive Sickness Insurance to be considered a ‘qualified person.'
No one can accurately predict the future, but once Article 50 is triggered, there is no doubt that the UK, Europe, and all of us who reside here may be in for a bumpy ride.
OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected Immigration law firms in London. By making an appointment with one of our Immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today. We can assist you in applying for a permanent residence Card and British Citizenship and answer any question you may have on your rights to remain in the UK following Brexit.
If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on 0203 959 9123.