As we are approaching the end of this exhausting and quite frankly ridiculous process, it's time to give you some news about Brexit and what will happen now that it has been confirmed that the UK is living the EU on January, 31st 2020.

Protest in Oxford against closure of Parliament, in front of Balliol College were Boris Johnson studied (1983-7).
Photo by James Claffey / Unsplash

What is Brexit?

If you missed our previous article on the topic, make sure to read it below. In a nutshell: over three years ago, in June 2016, citizens of the UK voted to leave the European Union and after endless sessions and votes in the Houses of Parliament, different Brexit deals and a few different Prime Ministers, the UK will be leaving the EU soon.

Brexit Update: What We Know So Far

In 2017, 3.7 million EU-born people were living in the UK, making up 5.7% of the total UK population. Since then, obviously, EU immigration has declined (by 33%).

Design review in startup office with macbook and artwork. Man wearing Apple Watch. Joyful team working together and laughing.
Photo by Jud Mackrill / Unsplash

Things you need to know:

  • If you’re relocating to the UK from non-EU member states, the process will mostly remain unchanged as a visa and work permit will still be required.
  • If you’re an EU-national looking to relocate to London after Brexit, the process will be quite different. It is likely that almost all previous rights and freedoms  are going to be abolished or altered. After Brexit, pretty much like non-EU citizens, you will need a visa or some kind of work permit, when relocating to London.  

However, if you already have a new job prior to relocating, it's possible that your employer will arrange all of these things for you.

Photo by Habib Ayoade / Unsplash

What will happen for EU-citizens living in London?

From official sources, you will be able to stay in London and you will keep living your life as you do now. However, you will have to apply for a new residence status, which confirms that you live in the UK and have the right to do so. This is called Settled Status or pre-Settled Status.

The Mayor of London (...) wants to ensure that Londoners from the EU, EEA and Switzerland, as well as their families are able to remain part of, and make a full contribution to our community.

What is the Settled Status or pre-Settled Status?

"EU regulations for Freedom of Movement will no longer apply to the UK after December 2020, so the UK Government is making it compulsory for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, along with their family members, who wish to remain legally in the UK after 31 December 2020, to apply for a new residence status. This is called Settled Status and it grants Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) to successful applicants." (source

Protest in Oxford against closure of Parliament, in front of Balliol College were Boris Johnson studied (1983-7).
Photo by James Claffey / Unsplash

What do you need to apply for the Settled Status?

Settled Status guarantees your right to reside in the UK after 30 June 2021. At the end of the six month grace period, after the 31 December 2020 deadline for applications to be submitted. In order to have the same access to benefits, public services and healthcare, the right to study in London and rent accommodation, you will need this new status.

Leave The UK: It's Cheaper to Study in Europe

What happens on 31 January?

From February 1st, the UK will no longer be a member of the European Union. However, since this is quite a big deal for all parties involved, the UK has agreed a Withdrawal Agreement with the EU which will keep a similar relationship in place until the end of 2020.

What will happen after the transition period?

The Government has said it will agree a new trade relationship with the EU, and that it will introduce new immigration rules for EU nationals by end of December 2020.  But the government has also said that it wishes to diverge from existing EU rules (without specifying how) and that it will not extend the transition period beyond 31 December 2020. That means there is unlikely to be time to negotiate sensible new agreements with the EU.

Putting the technical aspects of how Brexit will affect the country and its people, I hope London will remain the unique multicultural hub I fell in love with back in 2002 when, hypnotised by the people passing by me, I decided to move and live in the best city in the world.

London Afterglow
Photo by Alexander London / Unsplash

What do you think? How will living in London change in 2020? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media channels.

For more information about living in London as a EU-citizen, make sure to check the latest information on the official government website here.

Want to read more about living in London as an expat? Read the articles below: