The Brexit Impact – Nurses Group Edition

Brexit is now upon us and no matter what part of the political spectrum you belong, I would like to believe that it is inevitable. The question now is when or how it will be executed. I am quite sure that determining the answers to these two questions is not an easy task, and I can bet that the people at Whitehall are pulling their collective hairs over this. Perhaps we could start with what we know and what is factual and just ignore all the noise that the media is generating. To be fair, there is a lot of speculation and expectation towards this, so it won’t be a walk in the park. We know that Brexit is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Following a referendum held on 23 June 2016 in which 51.9 per cent of those voting supported leaving the EU. The Government then invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, starting a two-year process which was due to conclude with the UK's supposed exit on 29 March 2019. A deadline which has since been extended, at the time of writing, to 31 October 2019.

Now before Brexit, the life of our Friends and Colleagues from the continent is simple because of the agreements in place between the United Kingdom and the European Union. EU citizens as they are usually called, which for technical reasons is only a de facto term, did not need a visa to travel to, or live and work in the U.K., which is quite straight forward and just easy really. Of course, in return, British Nationals who will travel, and live and work in the continent will equally not be required to get a Visa as well.

Seems like a pretty sweet deal, right? Well that’s before you put in all the politics, the current public opinion and all the other things that amplifies, excessively I might add, the whole situation. The fact is, Brexit is inevitable, and I seriously doubt that there will be a second referendum about Brexit, and even if they do, it will have serious implications and there will be a high political price to pay. The very foundations of British Democracy will be questioned, and I doubt the people will ever trust the government again, but that is a different story altogether.

Now with the inevitable in the horizon, our friends and colleagues should prepare themselves to avoid any sort of complication when Brexit finally happens. Let’s start with the easiest one, if anyone from the continent have been in the United Kingdom for five consecutive years then they are eligible to apply for an indefinite leave to remain (ILR), alternatively called a permanent residency. The government has now made it easy to apply for an ILR, they now have a dedicated webpage to deal with these matters which will be discussed further on. It’s slightly different if you haven’t been in the Kingdom for five years yet. Pre-Brexit times, you had to wait for five years before you could apply, but from what I understand, the government has now created a dedicated webpage to handle these matters, the same webpage you will go to if you are applying for your IDR if you are qualified.

It’s quite neat really. They broke it down in to two categories. If you have been in the Kingdom for five years then you can normally apply for the IDR, or what they now call “settled” status. If you haven’t been in the Kingdom for five consecutive years, then you will be given a pre-qualified status. If you are applying for a qualified or pre-qualified status then all you have to do is fill in the form online and provide your National Insurance number and the other requirements that they may require, but the National Insurance Number is the most essential information that they need, because they will be able to determine if you have satisfied treaty rights based on the duration of your contributions. I will share the links of the webpage below.

It tends to be a bit trickier with the NMC registration I believe, as there are at least a couple of scenarios you could get yourself caught in. You could be in the middle of your NMC registration when Brexit happens or there might be a no deal Brexit and your professional credentials will have to be reassessed. It is brilliant I think, that the NMC has provided an advice page on what to do with your registration and credentials based on your current situation. I will be sharing the link below.

In all honesty, Brexit is nothing we can’t prepare for. We have known about it since the referendum of 2016 and it would be, dare I say irresponsible, if we still haven’t prepared for it by know. There is nothing wrong with keeping ourselves informed with these matters because whether we like it or not, we will be affected by Brexit in one way or another, directly or indirectly. All we need to do is to read up on it, and if it directly affects us prepare for it, and if it doesn’t affect us directly then there is nothing wrong if we’re just a bit more informed, is there?