Speaking at a recent Migration Matters round table, Professor Bernard Ryan of Leicester University gave an exceptional overview of the legal issues facing EU migrants living in the UK. He also discussed the options open to the government in determining post-Brexit visa regimes.
His argument is set out in a paper published by the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association. For more on securing the residency rights of EEA nationals, Professor Ryan also recommends this paper by Matthew Evans of the Aire Centre.
The Education Select Committee is looking at “the impact of exiting the European Union on higher education”, writes Gill Green of Migration Matters Trust. Individuals giving evidence to the Committee on 11 January 2017 highlighted the critical contribution of non-British staff, students and research partners to the success of British higher education.
International students are the UK's third largest “export” - but polls show that Brexit has had a worldwide negative impact on students' likelihood to apply for UK study. EU applications are already down; student numbers may fall if their fees go up and their current free movement is replaced by cumbersome and expensive visas.
EU citizens make up 20% of the staff of the Russell Group - and a higher percentage of researchers and staff in the economically key areas of maths, science and engineering. These staff need reassurance about their positions - and the status of their families.
The UK is a world leader in many research areas; but almost half that research involves outside partners. At the moment five of our top ten partners are EU countries. One in four British research publications is joint with a European partner. So, if universities are to continue as world leaders, they need a replacement for EU research funding and a way to maintain research collaboration with European centres.
Catherine Barnard, professor of EU law at Cambridge University, warned that a “hard Brexit” would “cut off the flow of excellent people who are coming at the moment”. She quoted a 14 per cent drop in applications from the EU for undergraduate courses at Cambridge in 2017. Postgraduate applications had gone up, but there were already signs of future concern. Those who declined the offer of a postgraduate place mentioned perceived anti-immigrant sentiment post-Brexit; the falling value of bursaries with the falling pound; and the uncertainty of future cross- European research collaboration.
The full evidence sessions can be heard via the Parliament select committee website.
A recent report in the Financial Times by George Parker and Helen Warrell outlines options under consideration by Ministers to enable EU citizens to come to work in the UK post-Brexit.
Migration Matters Trust Chair Barbara Roche is quoted in the article expressing our concern that the proposed options will not provide the flexibility required for the diversity of skill levels needed in the job market.
You can read the article here.
The Chair of Migration Matters Trust, Barbara Roche, has spoken up for EU citizens in the UK and expressed her fears for the country's economy if it loses a substantial number of them in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. The MMT Chair was quoted in the FT in an article entitled "EU citizens in UK fear for jobs ahead of Brexit talks."
Barbara Roche, a former Labour immigration minister and chair of the Migration Matters Trust, said the survey results were “very worrying” and echoed some of the concerns that she had heard from people in business. “The UK cannot afford to lose people with these skills and talents,” she said.
Ms Roche urged the government to “state unequivocally” that EU citizens would be able to remain in the UK post-Brexit, and called on ministers to “keep restating” that there was no room for abuse of migrants and foreigners in British society.