When put to the vote, Theresa May's Brexit deal was
overwhelmingly rejected by Parliament. MPs voted 432 to 202 against
the UK Prime Minister's withdrawal agreement - the largest defeat
for a sitting government in history.
Despite May's government surviving a no-confidence vote after
this crushing defeat, the UK remains in Brexit deadlock as the 29th
March approaches. Much uncertainty still hangs in the air for
businesses and individuals.
Europe has had a strong voice on Brexit. The School launched
the Re-Thinking Europe Series - inspired by the late Mme. Nicole
Fontaine, former President of the European Parliament - and it has also supported
the series of exclusive forums on this topic organised by the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain
(CCFGB). Our response to this major political challenge was one of
the reasons the Times Higher Education awarded the London
Campus 'UK Business School of the Year' in late
On 16th January 2019, CCFGB members and organisations from the
retail, finance, legal, consulting, tourism, and banking industries
came together to discuss the latest on the impact of Brexit on
professional services, individuals and businesses.
Speakers were Oliver O'Sullivan (Associate of Gateley Plc) and
Gareth Wadley (Partner of Gateley Plc). The event was chaired by
Neil Sherlock CBE (Partner, Senior Adviser of PwC).
Organisations attending included:
Welsh Government, PwC, Financial Times, Nord France
Invest, Atout France /
France Tourism Development Agency, Chappuis
Halder & Co, Consul Général de France, ebl miller rosenfalck, French Embassy, Talan Consulting
Electric, and many others.
What can employers do to support their EU employees?
Brexit, in whichever form it finally takes, will have a
significant impact on employers who have traditionally relied on
labour from the EU. At present, political uncertainty and the
differentiation of EU workers who have been long present in the UK
is a very real issue affecting employee wellbeing.
In their presentation, Gateley PLC's
Gareth Wadley and Oliver O'Sullivan highlighted the key changes to
be expected in UK immigration law over the next two years, and how
these changes relate to current workforces and workforce plans for
- Free movement of labour from the EU to the UK looks certain to
end. In both 'deal' and 'no deal' scenarios, the change would be
expected at the end of 2020, after which a new immigration system
will apply to EU citizens.
- The Home Office are slowly rolling out a scheme to enable EU
nationals in the UK to apply for either 'settled' status on the
basis of having lived in the UK for at least five years, or
'pre-settled' status where they have not yet lived in the UK for
that length of time. 'Pre-settled' status will be issued for five
years, but the moment a holder of this status has been in the UK
for five years (including time before the issue of this current
status) they will be allowed to apply for 'settled' status.
'Settled' status means that the individual has a permanent right to
live in the UK beyond Brexit.
- New applications can be made for those who are resident in the
UK before 31 December 2020, although this could be brought forward
to 29 March 2019, or whichever date the UK leaves the EU, in the
event of a 'no deal'.
- Considerations, therefore, should be the level of support
offered to EU staff in assisting with these mandatory applications.
The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021, although this could
be brought forward to 31 December 2020 in the event of a 'no deal'.
It is also worthwhile for employers to consider their talent needs
for the next two years to plan for new employees to swiftly secure
permission to reside in the UK post-Brexit.
- Speakers advised assessing current workforces to see which
employees might be eligible for either 'pre-settled' or 'settled
status' and evaluating how they can be assisted. It is also
sensible to evaluate the roles being undertaken by EU nationals at
present to assess the impact on the business of a new immigration
regime that might restrict the roles being undertaken from talent
from the EU.
- The future immigration proposals in the Home Office's white
paper would bring changes whereby the recruitment of EU nationals
from January 2021 would become far more expensive and far more
restrictive in relation to the 'skill' level of the job and the
salary on offer. Many 'lower-skilled' jobs being undertaken by EU
nationals at minimum or living wage would be impossible to offer to
workers from outside the UK from 2021.
- Therefore, Gareth and Oliver stressed the importance of
planning in terms of UK-based roles to assess how they fit with
these future immigration rules. It is likely these changes will
impact on how companies develop UK talent and/or the location of
business operations that require low-skilled EU workers.
To find out more, you can watch this short summary of the
About ESCP Europe
Established in 1819, ESCP Europe has educated generations of
leaders and entrepreneurs. With its six urban campuses in Berlin,
London, Madrid, Paris, Turin and Warsaw, ESCP Europe's true
European identity enables the provision of a unique style of
cross-cultural business education and a global perspective on
international management issues. ESCP Europe welcomes 5,000
students and 5,000 executives from 100 different nations every
year, offering them a wide range of general management and
specialised programmes (Bachelor, Masters, MBA, Executive MBA, PhD
and Executive Education). ESCP Europe is among the 1% of business
schools worldwide to be triple-accredited (AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS).
More information: www.escpeurope.eu
ESCP Europe and the CCFGB will host a Brexit
Conference in June, 2019. More details to be announced