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Legal Profession: Brexit

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL9884, tabled on 2 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what provisions they have put in place for short-term business visits to the EU for legal professionals and barristers once the Brexit transition period ends.

Answered on

16 November 2020

As part of the ongoing Fee Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with the EU, it is our intention to agree reciprocal measures on short-term business visitors. The purpose would be to ‘lock in’ a list of permitted activities for short-term business visitors that both Parties must allow, without requiring a work permit. As is normal in EU trade agreements, some Member States may choose to table exceptions to this list, known as ‘reservations’. Note that both Parties may in practice allow more activities than those committed to in the FTA. Whether these activities are permitted visa-free is be a matter for Member States.

The EU has never previously agreed with any of its trade partners a route for short-term business visits specific to legal professionals and barristers. The UK’s overarching approach to temporary entry and stay issues with the EU is to explore building on the EU’s precedents with Canada and Japan. This includes for short-term visitors, where it is mutually beneficial to do so.

After the Transition Period ends, for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period, the EU has legislated so that UK nationals will not need a visa when travelling to and within the Schengen Area to undertake a limited range of activities, such as attending business meetings. The types of activities allowed will differ by Member State, and UK nationals should check with their host state before travelling whether the activity they are travelling for requires a visa and/or work permit.