Brexit: information and updates for staff
We are working with the Russell Group, Universities UK and other groups to address the challenges posed by Brexit. This includes seeking clarification and lobbying Whitehall on the most pressing concerns for our staff and students, including around mobility, fees, travel arrangements and access to research funding.
14 January 2020
The House of Commons approved the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Thursday 9 January. It is expected to be approved by the House of Lords next week and be given Royal Assent before 31 January 2020. It is now unlikely that the UK will leave the EU without a deal.
After 31 January, the UK will enter a transition period, currently due to end on 31 December 2020. During this period the UK will cease to be an EU member but will continue to follow its rules; it is anticipated that there will be few significant changes to our national operations and European relationships until the transition ends.
We are continuing to monitor the ongoing political developments and will provide any new information as it becomes available.
Information and advice
Our Brexit Planning Group, chaired by Robert Kerse (Chief Operating Officer) is monitoring the ongoing parliamentry Brexit discussions closely and is engaged in contingency planning for the eventuality of a no-deal scenario.
For the latest information on getting ready for Brexit, go to the Government's Get ready for Brexit information.
Latest Bristol updates and briefings
For the latest information, please see our Brexit Updates and Topic Briefings.
You can find advice on travel, insurance, procurement, research and links to useful resources.
Status of EU citizens in the UK
What you need to know: the government's advice and information page, regularly updated.
Universities UK (UUK) Brexit FAQs and Guidance
Find out about the research that Bristol's academics are conducting on the many aspects and possible implications of Brexit.
Preparing for Brexit
How is the University preparing for Brexit?
Since October 2018, our Brexit Planning Group (chaired by Chief Operating Officer, Robert Kerse) has been focused on ensuring that we are as prepared as possible for Brexit, including preparations for a “no-deal” scenario. Our preparations have included analysis of the Government’s Technical Notices Brexit, assessing advice from Universities UK, planning with Bristol City Council and our own contingency planning. Key areas that the group have focussed on include:
- Visa and Immigration Policy for Staff and Students
- Ensuring continuity of services and supplies
- Research and research funding
- Student and staff mobility
- Student fees and funding
- Legal and regulatory matters
How is the University influencing government?
We are working with the Russell Group, Universities UK, Bristol City Council, local MPs and others to address the challenges posed by Brexit. This includes seeking clarification and lobbying Whitehall on the most pressing concerns for our staff and students, including around mobility, fees, travel arrangements and access to research funding.
Rights to continue living and working in the UK
How will Brexit affect my immigration status?
Most EEA nationals will need to apply for Settled (or pre-settled) Status to continue living in the UK after 31st December 2020 (if no deal) or 30th June 2021 (if there is a deal). You will still need to apply for settled status even if you have a registration certificate or permanent residence document.
If you have not been resident in the UK for five years you are able to apply for pre-settled status. Once you reach five qualifying years, you can then apply to update your visa to settled status. The settled status scheme opened fully on 30 March 2019. It is free for all applicants.
How do I apply to the EU Settlement Scheme
The EU Settlement Scheme is now fully open, and we encourage staff and students to apply now.
Do I need a letter confirming my employment if I want to travel?
In the event of a 'no deal' Brexit we have no reason to believe that anyone who has been granted settled or pre-settled status will have issues re-entering the UK.
However, if you would like a letter confirming your employment with the University to take with you when you travel, please email the International Staff Advisers on email@example.com ensuring you provide your full name as stated on your passport, and your passport number.
How do I apply for British citizenship?
For advice from the University about British Citizenship, please email Rachel Coggins or Clare Stephens our International Staff Advisers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What support is available to non-EEA/EU dependents of EEA/EU staff?
The EU Settlement Scheme is open to all EEA citizens (and their dependents) resident in the UK. Those looking for support for their family members should email Rachel Coggins or Clare Stephens our International Staff Advisers at email@example.com.
If you are starting your employment at the University after we leave the EU, in the event of no deal
The Home Office have issued guidance about moving to the UK if we leave with no deal:
Any queries in connection with this can be directed to our International Staff Advisers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Help and advice
What support services are available for employees?
We understand that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit can be a cause for worry and concern. Employees can access personal support from the University’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), Care First, on a confidential basis.
For practical queries or emotional support, including issues linked to Brexit, please call 0800 015 5630 to speak to one of the Care First Information Specialists or Counsellors. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year for staff.
Is there support for PhD students?
Support for PhD students is available from our Student Wellbeing Service.
What support can I give to my students / direct reports?
Given the ongoing uncertainty and complexity of Brexit, it can be difficult to know where to direct students and colleagues for the most up to date information.
What should I do if I see or experience racism or harassment linked to the EU referendum result?
We do not tolerate racism, xenophobia or harassment in the work place or in study.
All members of our staff and student community are responsible for ensuring that they behave in an appropriate manner, showing respect for colleagues, students and others working alongside or engaged with our University community.
All staff are encouraged to appropriately challenge inappropriate behaviours and raise concerns with managers so these can be dealt with.
- Further support: What to do if you're worried about racism following the EU referendum (PDF):
- Useful information is available from the Equality and Human Rights Commission