9 December 2019 Council and democracy

Get ready for Brexit

Leaving the European Union (EU) will mean a number of changes that will affect businesses and individual citizens. These changes will be different, depending on if we leave with or without a deal. This page provides information about how you or your business should prepare.


Government next steps

The government’s bill to leave the EU on 31 January 2020 was agreed by parliament on 20 December 2019.

The government says it will get the bill into law in time for the 31 January Brexit deadline.

Brexit will not be finished on 31 January 2020 but it marks the start of the next phase. There are a significant number of issues to be addressed, including trade talks with the EU. If no trade deal has been agreed by the end of June, then the UK could potentially leave without a deal at the end of December 2020.

Until then, the UK will still follow all the EU's rules and regulations. It will remain in the single market and the customs union. The free movement of people will continue. 

EU Settlement Scheme

Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme

If you’re an EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland citizen, you and your family must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.

The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. It’s free to apply.

GOV.UK provides this information in 26 different European languages.

Get help filling in your application

You can get support to use the online application form if you don’t have access or you don't feel confident to use a computer or mobile device to complete the form.

ID document checking service at Brighton Town Hall

The first part of the EU Settlement Scheme application asks you to verify your identity using your European identity document, such as your passport or ID card. You can do this by either downloading an app on a compatible Android phone, an iPhone 8 or above or by posting your passport or ID card to the Home Office.

If you don’t have an Android phone, an iPhone 8 or above and don’t want to send your documents in the post, you can use our free drop-in ID document check service at Brighton Town Hall to have your identity documents checked.

Support for vulnerable migrants

Migrant Help is providing advice to vulnerable migrants who need help to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. They are running drop-in sessions for EU nationals or family members from the following groups:

  • Gypsy/traveller and Roma communities
  • people who are homeless
  • elderly people
  • people with disabilities or serious health conditions
  • victims of domestic abuse
  • victims of modern slavery and human trafficking
  • adults who have left care

Citizens Advice also offers advice for EU citizens on staying in the UK after Brexit.

Support for Deaf people

The Royal Association for Deaf People provides a specialised service in sign language which includes face-to-face sessions, webcam sessions and roadshows all over the UK.

Sign up to the UK government’s Brexit email newsletter

If you are an EU citizen living in the UK, sign up to the UK government’s Brexit newsletter for email updates about developments on the:

  • status of EU citizens in the UK after we leave the EU
  • next steps for EU citizens in the UK

Local businesses

Leaving the EU means your business or organisation may need to prepare for change. GOV.UK provides a tool for businesses to find out:

  • what your business or organisation may need to do to prepare for Brexit
  • what’s changing in your industry
  • information on specific rules and regulations

Health and medical supplies

If you’re taking medicine, the NHS asks you not to order more medicines than normal. The UK government is working closely with the NHS and suppliers to make sure medicines continue to be available.

Occasionally, the NHS does experience temporary shortages of some medicines. If this happens, you will be prescribed the best alternative to your usual medicine, as happens normally.

Brighton & Hove CCG has information on getting your medicine if there's a no deal Brexit.

Learn more about what the NHS is doing to prepare

Travelling to Europe

If you’re travelling to Europe after Brexit, then you might need to think about:

  • the validity of your passport and travel documents
  • insurance and health cover
  • driving in EU countries
  • travelling with animals and pets
  • mobile data roaming

You can sign up to get email alerts about travel after Brexit from the UK government.

Supporting our communities

We are proud that Brighton & Hove is a vibrant and diverse city. As a council, we value and encourage this diversity. We also take a leading role to increase equality, inclusion and fairness across the whole of our city.

If you’re an EU citizen, you have had to deal with uncertainty and anxiety since the referendum. We want to reassure you that Brighton & Hove is your home and you will always be welcome here. You contribute to our diversity and help make our city unique. You are our family, our friends, our neighbours and our colleagues, and have been valued members of our communities for decades. We hope you will continue to make Brighton & Hove your home.

We know that there has been a rise in hate crimes following the referendum. We do not tolerate any hate incidents in our city. Our community safety team works closely with the police and our communities to prevent hate incidents and support people affected.

If you have been harmed by a hate incident either as the direct victim or as a witness, our community safety team are here to support you and provide advice.

You can contact our team by:

You can also report hate incidents to Sussex Police or call them on 101 if it’s not an emergency.

How the council is preparing for Brexit

A Brexit Resilience & Planning Group made up of staff from across the council has been in place over the past 18 months. The group has been:

  • monitoring Brexit negotiations
  • planning how to mitigate potential impacts of Brexit on the city and the council

Recently, the group has been preparing for a no deal exit from the European Union.

A report to the Policy, Resources & Growth Committee in December 2018 outlined our approach to Brexit planning (PDF) at that time. It included an analysis of the potential impacts (PDF) of different Brexit scenarios and how the council could respond. 

Our Brexit Readiness Report  for October 2019 (PDF) provides an overview of potential risks and issues related to Brexit in Brighton & Hove which are being monitored and reviewed regularly.

A cross-party working group of councillors was set up at the beginning of 2019. This group has democratic oversight of the council’s actions in response to Brexit. It also coordinates relations with stakeholders and communities where potential impact has been identified.

We are also working closely with other local authorities and agencies across the region through the Sussex Resilience Forum. This forum is working together to make sure there are robust plans in place to limit disruption as much as possible.