UK Work Permit Issues Could Cause Business Travel Problems After Brexit

18 Aug 2019 | Carl Thomas

British employees that frequently travel overseas to locations throughout the EU for work could struggle to perform their duties following a no-deal Brexit, according to a recent report. According to consultancy company, EY, British business travellers will be unable to navigate the globe as usual without dealing with endless work permits that could take months to receive.

If the UK goes ahead with a no-deal Brexit at the end of October this year, UK employees will have numerous red lines to deal with across each of the 27 EU countries that they visit regularly each year. This could lead to some significant changes for businesses in Britain, who have never had to deal with such a wide range of UK work permit restrictions in the past. Up until now, the UK has gotten used to the flexibility that comes with the EU free movement deal. However, that flexibility will be gone following a no-deal Brexit.

If the UK leaves the UK without a deal, then all British citizens will be required to apply for visas and work permits on a country-to-country basis. This means that UK employers won't be able to send employees out to visit and conduct deals in other countries without months of prior planning and paperwork. According to the CBI business lobby group, a no-deal Brexit will cause immediate disruption for companies in the UK that operate on a global basis.

The CBI believes that short-term disruption caused by Brexit could harm ongoing projects for many businesses. However, what's worse, the issues with a lack of freedom to move around the EU could mean that the UK's competitive in various industries could be put into jeopardy. Some countries like Germany have prepared waivers to help UK workers to visit and work during stays of up to 3 months.

Other countries have far tighter restrictions on the activities that any person can carry out without a work permit.