How will Brexit affect your business?

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The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October.

Further delays remain possible, and the UK may enter a Transition Period once it does leave the EU.

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens would still be able to live, work and study in Scotland until the end of any Transition Period via Free Movement.

In addition a new UK immigration system would come into practice.

Whilst the EU Exit may be extended, businesses are encouraged to start, or continue, to plan for Brexit. Further information is outlined below.

EU Settled Status and Pre-Settled Status

All EU, EEA or Swiss citizens currently living in the UK must register under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The length of time individuals have lived in the UK will determine if they apply for Settled Status (living in the UK for five or more consecutive years) or Pre-Settled Status (living in the UK for less than five years).

The UK Government has created an Employer Toolkit that equips employers with the right tools and information to support EU/EEA and Swiss citizens and their families to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Employer Toolkit is available here.

New immigration process

The UK Government is currently developing a new immigration system for the UK based on the Immigration White Paper published in December. The new immigration system is anticipated to come into practice for EU, EEA or Swiss citizens following the end of the Transition Period.

That means an EU EU, EEA or Swiss citizen moving to Scotland to live, work and/or study after the end of the Transition Period may need to apply for a visa.

If you are looking to employ an EU/ EEA/Swiss citizen or international citizen, you will need to ensure the job vacancy/individual meets the requirements of the immigration system.

Information about the current visa process is available from Scottish Development International here.

Workplace rights

The UK Government has committed not to change existing policy on workplace rights after Brexit. The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 brings EU Directives concerning workplace rights into UK law, meaning that workers in the UK will continue to be entitled to the rights they had pre-Brexit. 

Any new legislation changing those laws will be assessed as to whether they uphold this commitment. Additionally, UK Parliament will be given a vote on whether future changes to EU directives should be adopted into UK law. 

Preparing your business for Brexit

Visit PrepareforBrexit.scot for more information about how best to prepare your business for Brexit including topics such as Customs and Tarffis, Exporting, Supply Chain, and Data Sharing.

The website provides:

  • A Brexit self-assessment tool to help identify issues you should be considering when preparing for Brexit
  • Access to expert advice
  • A wealth of information on the Resource and News section
  • Information on Brexit events across Scotland
  • Access to financial assistance from the Brexit Support Grant

Stay in Scotland

The Scottish Government has launched a campaign and a package of support to encourage EU citizens to remain in Scotland after the UK leaves the EU.

The Stay in Scotland campaign includes a Guide for Employers and a Factsheet which contains information on the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme, details of the application process and its requirements, plus links to other resources.