Primexis attended the first in a series of Brexit Round Table sessions designed to provide the most up-to-date information on the impact of Brexit to French finance and business leaders.
The March 12 Round Table focused specifically on proposed immigration, travel, and recruitment conditions published in a government White paper « UK’s Future Skills-Based Immigration ».
Oriel Petry, the UK’s Commercial Counsellor & Deputy Trade Commissioner for Europe, facilitated the meeting, taking questions and walking participants through key points in the White Paper proposals.
Petry opened the session with an important timeline that was also underscored in the paper’s executive summary. Although the official « break date » is March 29, 2019 :
« There will be an Implementation Period, planned to run until 31 December 2020, during which current rules will continue to apply. During that time, EU citizens will be able to enter and reside under the terms of the UK Regulations which implement the current, pre-Exit rules. »
Immediate concerns for partcipants from French-British companies were the questions of travel for company employees and implications for future recruitement and employment. Below are some key points covered from both the presentation and the White Paper :
On travel :
« We do not intend to require visitors who are citizens of current EU Member States to obtain a visit visa in advance of travel and we intend to allow them to continue to use e-gates to make entry quick and easy. We propose to make binding commitments to this effect in a future mobility partnership, if the EU reciprocates.»
« We have agreed in the Future Framework declaration with the EU that we will discuss with them provisions relating to mobility. For example, we have said that the UK and EU should aim not to impose a visa requirement for short-term visits; that citizens should not face routine intentions testing at the border; »
On employment :
« After the UK’s exit and following the Implementation Period, we will end the current free movement system imposed by the EU so that the UK Immigration Rules will apply to EU and non-EU migrants alike in a single skills-based system, as opposed to being based on where an individual comes from, where anyone who wants to come to the UK will need permission to do so, as opposed to being based on where an individual comes from. »
« The rules will nonetheless be flexible and provide for different treatment for certain migrants, in ways justified on objective grounds such as skill, immigration and security risk, and international or bilateral agreements. This principle already exists in the current non-EU system, where certain low-risk nationalities are non-visa nationals, or have different evidential requirements, and we give effect to existing bilateral agreements. »
« We are also willing to expand, on a reciprocal basis, our current range of “GATS Mode 4” commitments which we have taken as part of EU trade deals2. These commitments may cover independent professionals, contractual service suppliers, intra company transfers and business visitors. »
On bilateral agreements :
- Bilateral agreements such as they exist (pensions being an example) stay in effect
Primexis will continue to closely follow Brexit events as they unfold to remain informed and proactive to its impact on our services and our clients. Upcoming Brexit Round Table Talks will include ; « Transport and Logistics », « Intellectual Property », « post-Brexit economic effect on companies ».