Brexit and you
On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU) in a referendum. The UK leaving the EU is known as ‘Brexit’ (short for ‘Britain’ and ‘exit’).
On 29 March 2017, the UK gave notice to the European Council under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (pdf) of its intention to leave the EU. From this date, the EU and the UK had 2 years to negotiate arrangements for the UK to leave.
This means that the UK was expected to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. This 2-year period can be extended, if the UK and the European Council agree. The European Council agreed on 10 April to extend Article 50 until 31 October 2019. This decision was taken in agreement with the UK. The UK will have to hold European Parliament elections if it is still a member of the EU between 23 and 26 May 2019. If the UK fails to hold the elections, it will leave the EU on 1 June 2019.
EU Settlement Scheme
The EU and UK have reached an agreement (pdf) in principle on the rights for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU after Brexit. The UK has set up an EU Settlement Scheme, under which EU citizens and their family members living in the UK can apply to continue living there after 30 June 2021.
EU citizens (except for Irish citizens) and their family members living in the UK must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for settled status if they wish to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If you do not have 5 years’ continuous residence in the UK, you may get pre-settled status instead.
- Settled status means that you can live in the UK for as long as you want. You will have access to public funds and services (if you are eligible) and you can apply for British citizenship. Any children born in the UK after you get settled status will automatically be British citizens.
- Pre-settled status means that you can live in the UK for a further 5 years.
The settlement scheme is open to some EU citizens and their family members now. It will open fully by 30 March 2019. The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
For more information on applying for settled status in the UK, see the details of the EU Settlement Scheme on gov.uk.
Irish citizens wishing to stay in the UK
If you are an Irish citizen who wishes to stay living in the UK, you do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Your rights to live, work and access public services in the UK are protected under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If a withdrawal agreement is not agreed, these rights will still be protected.
However, even though you do not need to apply to the scheme yourself, your family members from outside of the UK and Ireland will need to apply.
The current arrangements for social security between Ireland and the UK have not changed. All social welfare payments made by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, including pensions and Child Benefit, continue to be paid as normal.
Social security arrangements between the UK and the EU27 are also unchanged at present.
There is guidance for UK nationals about living and travelling in the EU on gov.uk, including information on what happens if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.