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Brexit: The Future for Turkish Businesspersons and Workers

Turkish nationals seeking entry or leave to remain in the UK under the ECAA with Turkey are not immune from the uncertainty surrounding the status of EU nationals after Brexit.  They have already been pitched into uncertainty with regards to settlement, which will be the subject of a further article.

Brexit: The Future for Turkish Businesspersons and Workers

At the time of writing there is scope for considering that the ECAA provisions will be preserved for a certain period under the transitional arrangements for withdrawal, along with the rights of EU citizens present in the UK (see the Withdrawal Act – here).  Article 2 would preserve domestic legislation which has been derived from EU law (businesspersons – HC 509 and 510);  Article 3 is likely to preserve Article 6(1) (workers – direct effect). The suggested last day of the transition period is 31st December 2020.

Speculation about long-term preservation of the provisions past the end of the transition period is a much more opaque affair.  After the final exit of the UK from the EU there may be some future arrangement between Turkey and the UK as part of one of the stated aims of Brexit – the forging of new trade agreements with countries outside the EU.  It is expected, whatever transpires, that any new arrangement for Turkish nationals seeking to establish businesses or to work in the UK is likely to follow the current (more restrictive) immigration regimes which are in place for non-Turkish nationals.

The provisions are, however, expected to be preserved as they are constituted until 29th March 2019 (and in fact must be, according to the ‘standstill clauses’), extending some certainty for applications made before that date – provided they are made with care, and with knowledge of the law and the guidance.

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For expert advice regarding an application under the ECAA / Ankara Agreement, contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.


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