No-deal Brexit looms - again

HIGH DRAMA struck as we were editing this Freelance: the UK Supreme Court ruled that the government's "prorogation" of Parliament was unlawful and void. Nothing is clear about what the revenant Parliament will do: but one effect may be that it can revisit the 99 pages of changes to immigration laws "laid before Parliament" just before it was unlawfully shut down.

pro-EU rally in London; Photo: Matt Salusbury

Yet another pro-EU rally in London

These would allow the Home Office to revoke the Settled Status of an EU national after Brexit. Reasons for revoking could include knowingly providing false information.

UK immigration acts from the 1970s, still in force, require the Government to lay any changes to immigration laws before Parliament. Theoretically, an MP or Lord could organise parliamentarians to "pray against" such secondary legislation, but they've rarely been able to pull this off.

Some newly-emboldened Opposition MPs, now effectively running Parliament, have called for a formal debate and a vote. And a House of Commons Select Committee may now hear evidence on problems around the EU Settlement Scheme. Earlier plans by Home Secretary Priti Patel to end freedom of movement for EU nationals immediately with effect from the latest planned date for Brexit - 31 October 2019 - were shelved, apparently after legal advice make it clear that to do so would be unlawful.

At the time of writing, a no-deal Brexit on 31 October is still a distinct possibility. If you're travelling into or out of the UK around that time, whether you're a UK national or an "other EU" national, you are advised to check you still have six months validity on your passport or ID card.

NUJ members who are UK nationals living in the EU or EU nationals living in the UK should contact their embassies for advice on what to do in the event of a Brexit. The most recent advice to the NUJ is here.

A no-deal Brexit would mean EU nationals have until 31 December 2020 to apply for EU Settled Status. In the event of a deal, the deadline will likely be 31 June 2021.