Formal statement on the rights and status of EU nationals and UK nationals issued by the UK Government

On 11 July 2016, the UK Government issued a statement on the status of EU nationals in the UK post the EU referendum. They have confirmed that “there has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, as a result of the referendum”.

The statement goes on to affirm that the formal process for triggering Article 50 will be a decision for the new Prime Minister and that they expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK and also those UK nationals living in the EU to be properly protected.

EU nationals can continue to reside in the UK and those that have spent 5 years working, studying or being self-sufficient in the UK may consider applying for Permanent Residence and thereafter naturalisation as a British citizen.

What this means for you as an employer?

EU nationals can currently continue to reside and work freely in the UK and conversely UK nationals can continue to travel to, work and reside in other EU member countries freely and without restriction.

There have been no other changes to the UK Immigration Rules for non-EEA nationals as a result of the referendum. The exit process from the EU will be a 2 year negotiation period and therefore we do not expect any changes imminently.

There is a big role for businesses to play now to help inform and mould the exit negotiations. Consultation between businesses and the Government will be key in the coming months.

PwC held a client webcast on 5 July 2016 around the next positive steps for our clients following the ‘Leave’ result. A recording of this webcast can be found on:


Please do not hesitate to reach out to your usual PwC Legal contact for further details.

EU Referendum – Employers Q&A

The UK’s decision to leave the EU will have significant implications for business, and we are already working to support them as these implications become clearer.

Experience has taught us that UK business is adaptable and innovative when confronted with new challenges and opportunities. Nevertheless, there will be significant uncertainty over the coming months as the detailed political and legal issues are worked out, and business confidence may be impacted.

We are committed to helping you navigate through the new political and economic landscape and adapt to changing market conditions.

Read our newsletter to answer the following questions.

  • So what happens following 23 June 2016?
  • What is the position when we exit?
  • What is the position for EU/Swiss nationals in the UK?
  • What are the possible outcomes?
  • Can UK companies still employ EU/Swiss nationals?
  • What is the position for UK nationals in the EU/Switzerland?


If you have any further questions please contact Julia Onslow-Cole or Mirela Stoia.