Brexit - impossible to give update
AS THIS article goes online, the day after the UK was supposed to have left the EU, we are unable to give any coherent update on Brexit.
We have an idea how Brexit – or at least the sort of Brexit we've been expecting up to now - will affect NUJ members. See advice for our EU national colleagues in the UK on applying for the EU Settlement Scheme which opened fully on 30 March. The deadline to register for long-term legal residence under the scheme remains, for the moment, 31 June 2021. See also our recent guide to what to do if you're a UK national living in the EU.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of London's EU Londoners Hub has a bus travelling around London with mobile EU Settlement Scheme advice sessions, with drop-in sessions at City Hall.The new Settled information hub for EU citizens in the UK will open soon.
However, it's getting harder to tell when and indeed if Brexit will happen, and what sort of Brexit it will be.
An extension has been sought to keep the UK in the EU until 11 April, but there's still the faint risk of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal on that date, possibly by accident. A further extension is likely - either until 22 May, or beyond that date – which will have consequences on voting in the forthcoming European Parliament elections (23-26 May).
Last time we looked, there is still to be a transitional period after the UK leaves the EU (which hasn't actually happened yet after all) during which freedom of movement and EU citizens' rights in the UK would remain unchanged and still under EU law. This was supposed to end on 31 December 2020, the end of the European Commission accounting period, and we haven't heard of any change to this deadline – yet.
Watch this space! And if you are eligible to vote in the UK, check your details are up to date on the electoral register, too – all the above developments make a snap UK general election more likely.