Back to the Future: Predicting Brexit Post General Election Announcement

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
20 April 2017

A mad scientist by the name of Dr Emmett Brown found a way to return Marty McFly to the future. That was the plot summary of “Back to the Future” in 1985. This is the sci-fi classic where in small town California Marty is thrown back into the 50s, when an experiment by an eccentric scientist friend Dr Brown goes very wrong.

The future for EA newcomers

In the year 2017 we are trying to predict the future for newcomers from EA countries post Brexit. The Government has few ideas about what to do with them. One idea is to extend the existing immigration system that is in place for non-EA nationals. Visitors who visit the UK from European countries will be treated like visa-free nationals who come to the UK. In return UK nationals can travel to European capitals with ease.

Permitted to travel

Another option is for the EU national to apply for a UK work visa. However, the scheme is problematic because it requires the visitor to have a high salary or work in a profession which is under shortage; currently there is a cap on the number of work permits that can be granted each year. Another possible work-permit scheme could be one for seasonal work or regional work. It would also be worth considering the opportunity to have a bilateral agreement with specific countries who engage with this type of work permit; immigrants from those European countries would be welcomed, in exchange for favourable conditions for the UK workforce wishing to travel abroad.

The Government has also said that free movement to the UK from the European Union cannot continue as before, and it has said its aim is to reduce net migration to sustainable levels. In addition it has also promised to address the skills shortage where these exist, yet the Prime Minister has already confirmed a points based system is not an option. On 17th January 2017 Theresa May said the Government will provide certainty wherever possible, recognising that they are about to enter two-sided negotiations, while curbing European immigration to the UK was an essential component of the leave campaign.

What does the future hold with the 2017 general election?

And Theresa May will hold election on the 8th June 2017. It is thought that she is taking advantage of the fact that the European leaders will not be ready to start formal negotiations about Brexit until the autumn. She said “Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a successful Brexit”.