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Deal or no deal, Brexit is upon us...!

On 29 March 2019, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will leave the EU. In all likelihood, this will take the form of a Hard Brexit. The Czech Republic has been trying to mitigate the consequences, at least on the level of its own country, by passing suitable legislation.

It has become overwhelmingly likely that on 29 March 2019 the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will leave the EU as a consequence of the results of a referendum held on 23 June 2016 and the subsequent triggering of Article 50 of the EU Treaty.

While the EU and the UK government, mindful of the complexities of ending by divorce a relationship that has existed for more than 40 years, have worked out a bilateral agreement to set orderly terms for the exit of the United Kingdom, this agreement has not been approved by the British parliament. Moreover, given developments so far, parliamentary approval becomes less likely with every passing day. It is thus an ever more realistic possibility that the United Kingdom will part ways with the EU without any agreement whatsoever governing mutual relations. This scenario is known as a Hard Brexit and would of course have serious consequences for British and Czech citizens and corporations, since they may find themselves exposed to the more stringent rules applying to nationals from third countries practically overnight.

With that prospect in mind, the Czech lawmaker is currently debating a government bill for a law "governing certain relations in connection with the withdrawal from the European Union by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", which ought to preserve selected rights for British nationals until 31 December 2020. The proposed law addresses such issues as, in particular, residence, access to the labour market, public health insurance, existing pension schemes and building loan contracts, direct taxation, recognition of professional qualifications, and the status of colleges and universities.

The proposed legislation earns British citizens and their family members who are currently residing on Czech territory under a valid residency permit some extra time, letting them stay on legally until 31 December 2020. During this period, the affected persons ought to apply for a residency permit of the kind designed for third-country nationals.

The ministry of the interior has also issued recommendations for British citizens and their families in this respect.

Source: Parliamentary press No. 368