The following alert is directed to organizations with a presence in the UK or who anticipate the need to place talent at a UK work site.

Seyfarth Shaw’s Global Mobility Practice hosts attorneys licensed to practice in the UK, Canada, Ireland and Germany. The group has the capability to assist clients with obtaining work and residence visas for over 70 jurisdictions around the world. If we can assist you in placing talent, please call your Seyfarth attorney. We will be happy to help you.

Seyfarth Synopsis: On March 29th, the day the UK was scheduled to exit the EU, Parliament rejected the Withdrawal Agreement for the third time. Following prior negotiations with the EU, the departure date is now set for April 12, 2019. This date may be delayed further if an alternative arrangement or extension is agreed upon. However, given the short timeframe, employers should prepare for a no-deal exit.

What does the vote mean?

Earlier this week, Parliament debated eight alternatives to the current Withdrawal Agreement. The results of the indicative votes showed no consensus in Parliament for an alternative way forward.

In a move to increase support for the Withdrawal Agreement, Theresa May announced that she would step down as Prime Minister if the deal were approved by March 29th. Although the margin of 58 votes was lower than the two previous defeats, her promise was not enough to sway a sufficient number of Members of Parliament (MPs) to back the Withdrawal Agreement.

The UK government now has until April 12th to agree an alternative plan and may request a further extension to implement any such agreement. Otherwise, the withdrawal process moves ahead and the UK will exit the EU on April 12th in a no-deal scenario.

UK Immigration: What is the impact?

The UK government had previously stated that the proposed EU Settlement Scheme will continue to be implemented in a no-deal scenario. If the UK government’s position does not change, EU nationals who are resident in the UK by April 12th will qualify under those provisions. The EU Settlement scheme, previously available in a pilot test phase, should be fully operational on March 30th.

The UK will continue to be a full member of the EU until April 12th. The immigration rights of EU nationals in the UK, and British nationals in the EU, will not change during until that time.

The UK parliament will be debateing alternative arrangements next week to avoid a no-deal exit. If agreement can be reached, the UK government may negotiate a further extension. However, given the lack of consensus this week, employers are advised to prepare for a no-deal Brexit on April 12th.

We will continue to monitor and report on developments in relation to Brexit as events unfold.