The government has backtracked on plans to abruptly end freedom of movement on 31 October in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This will come as a relief to employers.

In a statement on 4th September 2019, Priti Patel confirmed that in a no-deal scenario the government would implement a temporary leave to remain scheme – a marked U-turn from the announcement last month that the UK could abruptly end free movement overnight, a move which had alarmed employers who feared their supply of EU talent could be disrupted overnight.

Under the revived scheme, dubbed European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR), EU citizens arriving after a no-deal Brexit will be able to apply for a three-year temporary immigration status. This will allow them to live and work in the UK beyond the planned launch of any future immigration system – which the government hopes to have in place by 2021.

After the post-Brexit immigration system is launched, anyone entering the UK will have to qualify under the new system, details of which remain speculative.

EU nationals are still encouraged to apply for settled or pre-settled status in the UK before 31 October. Employers are encouraged to plan and ensure that any EU workers entering the UK prior to 31 October apply for their pre-settlement status to avoid the Euro TLR status which is only valid for three years and thereafter UK immigration rules will apply.