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This intranet page has been set up to provide information on the implications of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. Information will be available here for staff and will be updated as more information becomes available.

You'll find an infographic highlighting the key changes following Brexit, along with answers to a number of frequently asked questions, here​ (updated 12 February 2021).

An update from Naomi Graham, Vice Principal, International, regarding the impact of Brexit on Edinburgh Napier University, can be found here​ (14 January).

The European Commission has published a concise Q&A document outlining the terms of the UK’s association to the European flagship research programme Horizon Europe. Access it here​ (1 March).


If you have any questions please contact one of the people listed at the bottom of the page.​ 

UK withdrawal from the European Union and state of negotiations

The UK officially left the EU on 31 January 2020 on the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement agreed between both parties which foresaw a transition period running to 31 December 2020. The transition period maintains a legal status quo – i.e. the UK and EU operating as if the UK is still an EU member, whilst the EU and the UK negotiate the terms of the future partnership. At the start of October 2020, the UK and EU had not yet reached a deal.​

Settlement Scheme for EU citizens

Regardless of the outcome of the negotiations, the UK government has committed to protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members already living in the UK by 31 December 2020. This includes the right to live, work and access public services such as healthcare and benefits.


In order to retain these rights, EU citizens must apply for Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Information regarding the Scheme, including who can apply and how can be found on the UK Government’s Website.


Republic of Ireland citizens will continue to benefit from their rights under the Common Travel Area and as a consequence their status does not change as a result of the UK leaving the EU.


Under this scheme, EU citizens can apply for:

  • Settled status: if they have started residency in the UK by 31 December 2020 and have lived here for a continuous five-year period
  • Pre-settled status: if they have started residency in the UK by 31 December 2020 but not have not lived here for a continuous five-year period. Pre-settled status will grant EU citizens leave to remain in the UK for five years. Once EU citizens with Pre-Settled Status have reached five continuous years of residence in the UK, they will be able to apply for Settled Status


There is no fee to apply to the Scheme and, for the majority of people, applications can be made online, including the verification of documents.


EU citizens who already have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain do not have to apply for Settled Status although doing so allows them to spend longer periods outside the UK without affecting their residency rights.


Important note: the scheme will be open for applications until 30 June 2021 for EU Citizens who were already living in the UK up until 31 December 2020. EU Citizens arriving in the UK on and after 1 January 2021 and who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled Status will be subject to new immigration requirements as detailed below.


Further information regarding the Settled Status and implications for family members can be found on this GOV.UK page.​


New immigration framework 

The UK Government has announced that, as of 1 January 2021, a new immigration framework will come into place.

The new points-based immigration system stipulates that, from 1 January 2021, EU citizens entering the UK (with the exception of Republic of Ireland citizens and EU citizens already holding Settled or Pre-Settled Status) will be considered on the same basis as other overseas citizens entering the country and subject to the same visa requirements.

Therefore, from 1 January 2021, new staff members from the EU (except RoI and Pre-settled or Settled Status Holders) will be required to apply for the new Skilled Worker visa.

In addition, the Home Office will replace the current Tier 4 visa with the new Student Route. This also comes into force on 1 January 2021, so EU students coming to study in the UK will be required to apply.

Further information regarding the new immigration framework can be found on this GOV.UK page.

Advisory Group Europe

The Advisory Group Europe is supporting the University to prepare for a future outside the European Union. This includes advising the Principal and University Leadership Team on emerging policy and constitutional developments including key risks and opportunities. The members of the group are:

  • Naomi Graham - Vice Principal, International (Convenor)
  • Andrew Quickfall - Head of Planning & Business Intelligence
  • Alan McLachlan - Head of Student Recruitment & Admissions (Contact Alan for student related queries)
  • Campbell Millar - Head of HR Capability & Engagement (Contact Campbell for staff related queries)
  • Stuart Easter – Head of International Partnerships & Student Recruitment
  • Thomas Feige – International Project Manager 

More information