Brexit: information and updates for staff
We continue to work with the Russell Group, Universities UK and others to address the challenges posed by Brexit. This includes lobbying Whitehall on the most pressing concerns for our staff and students, including around mobility, fees, travel arrangements and access to research funding.
30 January 2020
The Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill was approved by Parliament and the House of Lords and given Royal Assent. On 29 January the European Parliament ratified the deal. The UK will leave the EU with this deal on 31 January.
After 31 January, the UK enters 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 university operations and European relationships until the transition ends.
We will continue to monitor developments during the coming months and will provide any new information as it becomes available.
Information and advice
Our Brexit Planning Group, chaired by Robert Kerse (Chief Operating Officer) will continue to monitor Brexit developments during the transition period (currently due to end on 31 December 2020). We will also continue to lobby the Government through Universities UK (UUK) on the issues that matter most to our university during 2020, to influence the negotiations and final deal.
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 has the University prepared for Brexit?
Since 2018, our Brexit Planning Group has been focused on ensuring that we are as prepared as possible for Brexit and the transition period through to 31 December 2020. We will then make sure we adapt to any necessary changes for January 2021 and beyond when the final details of the Withdrawal Agreement are known.
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 continuing to work with the Russell Group, Universities UK (UUK), 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?
EU, EEA and Swiss nationals living in the UK by 31st December 2020 will need to apply for settled or pre-settled Status under the EU settlement scheme to continue living in the UK after 30th June 2021. You will still need to apply for settled or pre-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 EU settlement scheme opened on 30 March 2019 and is free for all applicants.
New immigration routes will open later this year for applications to live, work and study in the UK from 1st January 2021. This will apply to all foreign nationals including EU, EEA and Swiss citzens. For further details please follow this link.
How do I apply to the EU Settlement Scheme
The EU Settlement Scheme is fully open, and we encourage staff and students to apply now.
Do I need a letter confirming my employment if I want to travel?
As no deal has been avoided, there is now 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 firstname.lastname@example.org ensuring you provide your full name as stated on your passport, and your passport number.
How do I apply for British citizenship?
For general advice from the University about British Citizenship, please email Rachel Coggins or Clare Stephens our International Staff Advisers at email@example.com.
Information for our German colleagues
German citizens may be aware that they are permitted to obtain citizenship of an EU country and retain their German citizenship. As the UK has now left the EU it is no longer an EU country.
The 'Brexit transition act' which was approved by the German cabinet on 5 September 2019 includes a provision to help Germans applying for British citizenship, and UK nationals applying for German citizenship. This provision states that Germans who have applied for British citizenship, and vice versa, before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 will be allowed to retain their own citizenship, even if their application is decided after the end of the transition period.
Information on the 'Brexit transition act' is available in German but the English version, which was previously available, appears to have been removed at this time.
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 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 complexity of Brexit anfd changing timeframes, 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