- Answered by Red Square London’s Immigration Specialist, Oliver Westmoreland – Ответил наш Специалист по Иммиграционным Вопросам, Оливер Вестморлэнд
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Readers will know that there are those who tried their hardest to thwart and undermine the Brexit referendum result, on the grounds that it was just too awful to contemplate. Litigants and some politicians fought tooth and nail in the cause.
Could it really be that the voice of the People would be nullified by an unholy alliance of elected politicians and unelected judges? It really seemed for a moment as if it might be true – something that made both the Daily Mail and Nigel Farage, occasional leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), utterly seethe with rage.
But things just didn’t work out that way. The Prime Minister Theresa May and leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn (both previously in favour of remaining) have adopted a rare common cause, and they have decided that the decision of the People must be respected.
In the recent vote in the House of Commons the Government’s “European Union Bill” was passed by a large majority. This vote enables the Government to trigger Article 50, the treaty Article which formally initiates the Brexit procedure. The Government intends to trigger Article 50 next month, March 2017, and this means that very possibly by some point in 2019 the UK will no longer be part of the EU.
So Brexit really is going to happen.
Naturally, Europeans currently living in the UK or aspiring to come to the UK are worried, but there is at least a ray of hope for them. In the Bill’s associated White Paper the Government has undertaken to introduce legislation about immigration arrangements after Brexit, which will of course have to pass through Parliament in the normal way (although the Government or the Opposition or both may impose a Whip to try and persuade their MPs to vote in the way they want).
But at least there is some hope. There is good evidence of a pro-European migrant sentiment in Parliament, and it should not be forgotten that parliamentarians and indeed parliamentary leaders will be mindful of the fate of those Britons who are currently living in Europe, which is likely to influence and moderate their thinking.
But our advice still must be that European nationals in the UK who want to stay here should stay on the safe side and apply for Permanent Residence as soon as they can.