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Status of EU citizens from Europe in UK

The government has provided updated guidance concerning the status of EU citizens and their families in the UK after it leaves the EU on 29th March 2019.

The government claims that there is no need for EU citizens or members of their families to take any action at this stage. There will be an implementation period operating from 29th March 2019 until 31st December 2020.

After that date, EU citizens will be able to continue to be permitted to live here and have access to public funds and services. Later on this year, if already living in the UK, they will be able to begin applying for UK immigration status through new provisions referred to as the EU Settlement Scheme. Those who are living in the UK by 31st December 2020 will be able to apply for new status until 30th June 2021. After that date, they will have to either hold or have applied for UK immigration status to be able to remain legally in the UK. Citizens of Ireland will not be required to apply, although they will be able to do so if they wish to. It is anticipated that there will be like provisions for citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, although the details are still be negotiated.

The www.gov.uk website provides further details.

The precise details of the schemes for settled status and pre-settled status have yet to be approved by Parliament, but it is anticipated that obtaining UK settlement status under the scheme will enable you to continue to live and work in the UK. It will ensure continued eligibility for the use of public services (healthcare and schools), public funds and pensions.

It is anticipated that eligibility for settled status will be based on residence in the UK for 5 years. If you do not qualify for settled status because you have not lived in the UK for 5 years, you can be apply for pre-settled status, which can allow you to remain in the UK for a further 5 years. You will be able to live and work in the UK, with the same access to public funds and services.

You will then be able to apply for settled status once you have been resident in the UK for 5 years.

There is a Withdrawal Agreement that covers reasons for refusal to remain. As long as you make a valid application you will be granted either settled or pre-settled status, unless one of the following situations applies:

You weren’t resident in the UK by 31 December 2020;
You are refused on the grounds of having serious criminal convictions, for security           reasons or for fraud.

If you have existing close family members (a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, dependent child or grandchild, and dependent parent or grandparent) living in the UK or overseas, they are also likely to be eligible for the scheme. Parents will need to apply on behalf of children. Any child born after their parent has been granted settled status will automatically become a British citizen if they’re born in the UK. It will not be necessary to apply for settled status on their behalf.

If you already have indefinite leave to remain, it will not be affected by the UK leaving the EU. Settled status gives some more beneficial rights and entitlements and you will be able to exchange this for settled status without having to pay any additional fee. If you are a non-EU citizen, it will be necessary to provide evidence of what your family relationship is to an EU citizen resident in the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/status-of-eu-nationals-in-the-uk-what-you-need-to-know

Learner Drivers on the Motorway

On 4th June 2018 the law was changed to allow learner drivers in the UK to have driving lessons on motorways.

The change will enable new drivers to receive training and experience in motorway driving, which is geared to improving safety.

There is some restriction, in that the learner driver has to have an approved driving instructor accompanying them in the vehicle; the car must have dual controls; and the sessions will be at the discretion of the instructor, who should only allow the learner driver to go onto the motorway if they are satisfied that they are competent to do so.

Motorway tuition guidelines can be downloaded from the government’s website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/learner-drivers-will-be-allowed-on-motorways-from-2018

 

 

 

New Law Allows Schools to Keep Allergy Pens

According to statistics provided by Allergy UK, approximately 44 percent of the UK adult population now suffers from at least one allergy, and the numbers are increasing. (Mintel, 2010). The numbers of children affected are also increasing.

Between 1992 and 2012 there was in increase in 615% in the number of hospital admissions related to anaphylaxis in the United Kingdom. (Turner, Paul J., et al, 2015). According to Asthma UK (2017), one in eleven children in the UK is now receiving treatment for asthma. That is more than a million children affected.

So the change in the law that enables UK schools to buy and keep available for use auto-injectors for use in emergencies upon children with serious allergies definitely seems to be a move in the right direction.

From 1st October, both primary and secondary schools will be able to order the injectors from pharmacies. They can be used if an additional dose is required, where the child’s own inhaler or epipen is not available, is not working properly, or has been administered incorrectly. There must be a risk of anaphylaxis and prior consent from the child’s parent and general practitioner. As 17% of fatal allergic reactions that affect children take place in the school, it is anticipated that this change in the law will save the lives of children.

There are a variety of causes if severe allergic reaction. The most common are food such as peanuts and seafood; insect stings; medication; and contact with latex.

The Criminal Finances Act 2017

 

The Criminal Finances Act has now been enacted. This places a significant onus on companies, and other business structures to effectively police the activities of its employees, agents and service providers.

New criminal conduct involves holding a company or partnership, etc. liable for the acts of employees (amongst others) who commit offences whereby the company or partnership has failed to prevent the facilitation of domestic tax evasion, as well as an offence when they have failed to prevent facilitation of foreign tax evasion.

It is draconian legislation. Where a person who is associated with the relevant company or business commits an offence either by facilitating UK tax evasion or foreign tax evasion, the organisation will be vicariously liable, regardless of knowledge. The associated person does not just have to be an employee, but can include an agent or any person performing services on behalf of the relevant body.

There are three stages to the offences, which are as follows:

  1. There is an act of tax evasion by a tax-payer, whether UK based or abroad; (It must be proven that there is dishonest intent in the facilitation. Dishonest intent for the underlying offence as well as dishonest facilitation must be proven, which might be evidenced by concealment, misrepresentation, non-disclosure or recklessness).
  2. There is a criminal facilitation of this offence by a person who is associated with the organisation;
  3. The organisation has failed to prevent the associated person from the act of facilitating.

The only defence is that the organisation had reasonable procedures in place to prevent such acts occurring.

The penalties are unlimited fines. Prosecution can only be commenced with the consent of the DPP or the SFO.

There are also new seizure powers relating to assets and cash.

Furthermore, there are new ‘unexplained wealth orders’. One group of people affected by this are those deemed to be ‘politically exposed persons (PEPs) or those involved or associated with serious crime. Regarding a politically exposed person, there doesn’t have to be any proven connection to criminal behaviour. An order can be made for disclosure of both the nature and extent of an interest in property, as well as an explanation as to how they have come into possession of it. This arises when there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person is holding assets that are disproportionate to their known income. It is an offence to give false information.

There are other provisions relating to making reports of suspicious activities to appropriate bodies (not unfamiliar territory for those familiar with the money-laundering duties to report).

This legislation is going to have significant impact upon financial institutions, including banking, pensions and financial services providers and advisors, property providers, and the legal profession. The need to have a stated procedure to address these issues is paramount. For solicitors, it is time to update the office manual!