Brexit Transition Countdown | EU summarises the changes happening anyway | UK immigration system details | ‘Let’s get going’

Written on 13 Jul 2020

The new UK immigration system

Free movement of people between the EU and the UK will end with the transition period, on 31 December 2020. The UK Home Office today published details of the points-based immigration system which will apply from 1 January 2021, to both EU and non-EU nationals.

The Home Office said that the new system 'will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and aims to attract people who can contribute to the UK’s economy. Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter and live in the UK as they do now'.

An explanatory Home Office press release ('New immigration system: what you need to know') is here and the full 130 page futher details statement is here.

The European Commission summarises the changes happening anyway

We already know many of the changes which await business on 1 January 2021, even though the future relationship negotiations between the EU and the UK are really only just ramping up.

Last week, the European Commission published a useful 35 page document setting out some of these known changes, 'Getting ready for changes', which is here. In the Commission's words:

'The changes described [in the document] will result automatically from the fact that, as of 1 January 2021, the transition period allowing for the temporary participation of the United Kingdom in the EU Single Market and Customs Union will cease, thereby putting an end to the free movement of persons, goods and services...

'...Leaving the Single Market and Customs Union will lead to additional barriers to trade and to the cross-border mobility of people, and adjustments will be necessary both on the side of the Union and of the United Kingdom.'

And so the Commission's document 'aims to highlight the main areas of inevitable change and to facilitate readiness and preparations by citizens, public administrations, businesses and all other stakeholders for these unavoidable disruptions.'

Topics covered include: Trade in goods; Trade in services; Energy; Travelling and tourism; Company and civil law; Data, digital, and intellectual property rights; and International Agreements.

Readiness notices

The Commission continues to update its detailed 'Readiness notices' for citizens and businesses on legal and sectoral changes which will follow from the UK's departure from the Single Market and the Customs Union.

There are now more than a hundred of these notices, which can be read here.

‘The UK’s new start: let’s get going'

On a busy day for Brexit, the UK government today launched its new public information campaign, ‘The UK’s new start: let’s get going', here.

In the government's words, the campaign:

'Will clearly set out the actions businesses and individuals need to take to prepare for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, and ensure they are ready to seize the opportunities that it will bring…The campaign will target UK citizens intending to travel to Europe from 1 January 2021 and all importers to and exporters from the EU, alongside UK nationals living in the EU and EU, EEA or Swiss citizens living in the UK.'

The campaign points people to the government's self-described 'straightforward checker tool', here, which, the government asserts, 'quickly identifies the necessary next steps' people and businesses need to take to prepare for the new world in 2021.

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