Freedom of movement for EU nationals after Brexit

Clarification following press reports on the Home Secretary's announcement that freedom of movement for EU nationals will end on 31 October 2019.

Following the Home Secretary’s announcement that free movement would end immediately on 31 October 2019, the Home Office has published a factsheet for EU nationals resident in the UK. This reiterates that all EU nationals and their family members who are resident in the UK before we leave the EU will still have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, even in the event of a no-deal exit.

The factsheet also clarifies details on overseas travel, and advises that if you are an EU national that is eligible for pre-settled or settled status, but not in the UK when we leave the EU, you will still be free to enter the UK as you do now.

Those who are resident in the UK but have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by the time we leave the EU will still have the same entitlements to work, benefits and services. Those rights will not change. EU citizens will continue to be able to prove their rights to access these benefits and services in the same way as they do now.

What is freedom of movement?

Free movement of people is one of the fundamental principles of the EU and gives the right to everyone in all EU member states – plus Norway, Iceland, Leichtenstein and Switzerland – to live and work in any other country in the group.

Useful links

Advice and support: If you have questions about the EU Settlement Scheme, you can contact your local HR hub.

Android smartphone: If want to use the Identity Document Check App to scan the chip in your biometric passport, but don't have an Android device, you can book an appointment to use the University Android smartphone by emailing

Guidance on settled and pre-settled status: The GOV.UK website holds information on what settled and pre-settled status means and who should apply, visit the website

Travelling for work: Colleagues and postgraduate researchers working or planning to travel overseas are asked to book their journey through Key Travel and ensure they have completed a risk assessment. Read this important safety update to find out more, including what to do if you’re travelling with a different booking agent.

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