APSCo have reacted to deal made at the end of last week on the terms of the country’s EU exit. “We welcome the fact that this deal largely enshrines existing EU residence rights of three million EU citizens in the UK as well as UK nationals living in Europe,” said Samantha Hurley, director of operations at APSCo. “Since the referendum result was announced, we have called for the position of EU nationals to be clarified at the earliest possible opportunity, and this announcement offers us some level of certainty.”
Hurley adds that the free movement of professionals benefits the whole economy and, in an increasingly tight market, access to vital skills from Europe and beyond is key to stability and growth. “This deal recognises the need for talent in both the UK and the European Union,”she says. “It is critical that recruiters can continue to find the best available talent either from within the UK, the EU or elsewhere. Conversely, it is also vital that UK professionals can continue to work throughout the EU.”
The news was also greeted with cautious optimism from Migrate UK, a law firm which specialises in immigration law for organisations and individuals.
Jonathan Beech, managing director said: “Today’s announcement on the agreement setting out the rights of EU Citizens in the UK and vice versa as part of the first stage of the Brexit deal is to be broadly welcomed. However, it should be remembered that ‘Nothing is fully agreed until everything is agreed’ – a reminder clearly noted at the top of the document announcement, as the terms between the EU and Britain are to be agreed by the UK on condition of an overall agreement under Article 50 on UK's withdrawal.
“If all is finally agreed, then EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU will have their rights to live, work and study protected, with those yet to complete the five continuous years necessary for permanent residency being allowed to remain and apply when they qualify – beyond the Brexit date,” he continues. “The UK will offer reunification rights for relatives, including spouses, parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren, who do not live in the UK, to join them in the future. However, there is still uncertainty as to a 'cut-off date' for EU migrants to be able to enter the UK and benefit from this – it could be up to March 2019. Therefore, despite this encouraging announcement, none of the changes are definite until the final Brexit agreement between the Government and EU parties.”