Brexit and you

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Brexit process

The European Union (EU) and UK have agreed a new deadline of 31 October 2019 for the UK to leave the EU.  However, the UK could leave before then if Parliament either agrees the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration or an alternative agreement that is acceptable to the EU. 

The Government has published advice for individuals, businesses, UK nationals in the EU and EU citizens in the UK.  You can also sign up to e-mail alerts to receive notifications of updates.


If you’re an EU citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If your application is successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status.

You can find out if you need to register using an on-line tool.  The scheme opened on 30 March 2019 and you will need to register by 30 June 2021 in the event the Withdrawal Agreement is approved. You can sign up for email updates online.

A policy paper sets out government’s plan in the event of no-deal. EU citizens and their families living in the UK by 29 March 2019 will have broadly the same access to:

  • healthcare
  • education
  • benefits

If there is no deal those EU citizens and their family members resident here by 29 March 2019 would have until 31 December 2020 to apply for a status under the EU Settlement Scheme

EU identity cards will initially remain valid for travel to the UK.

You may be able to stay in the UK without applying - for example, if you’re an Irish citizen or have indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

The UK has reached an agreement with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and a separate agreement with Switzerland.

Advice on settlement scheme

The government has made information on the settlement scheme available online in all EU languages. 

An information pack is available for community leaders to promote the scheme.

Information is available online at

International Travel

If the deal is approved, UK Residents will be able to continue to travel to the EU on the same basis as they are now until the end of December 2020. 

In the event of no deal, points to consider for travel to EU/ EEA* are:

Businesses and Employers

Information to assist businesses prepare for leaving the EU is available from Business Essex, Southend and Thurrock:

Settlement scheme for employers

You can use an Employer Toolkit to explain the EU settlement scheme to employees. The toolkit contains a range of ready to use leaflets and posters. 

Trade associations and the Federation of Small Business may be able to offer further guidance.


Under the Withdrawal Agreement, EU Citizens can continue to move to the UK to live and work until 31 December 2020.

Proposals for future immigration are covered by the Immigration White Paper.

Exporting and importing

Information is available that explain how to manage importing and exporting in the case of a no deal Brexit. This covers customs, excise, VAT and regulatory changes. No-deal technical notices provide information on more specialist areas. An on-line tool is available to find information most relevant to your business.

There is a grant funding scheme for training to help employees to complete customs declarations or IT improvements.  This will close on 5 April 2019, or earlier if all funding is allocated. 


The Withdrawal Agreement provides continued recognition of qualifications during the withdrawal period.

For more information about this and what happens in the event of a no-deal, please read the government’s published technical notice

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) -  Personal Data 

Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has provided guidance on its website In the event of no deal

Further information relating to Brexit and local authorities is available here

* EEA – European Economic Area: EU Member States and the three EEA EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway)

Page last updated: 11/04/2019