Impact on citizens
With regard to the free mobility of workers, after “hard Brexit” UK citizens will become third-country nationals, which means that the EU’s legal basis concerning free movement will no longer be applicable; instead, their residence, right to work and equal treatment will be subject to the EU’s immigration directives and national legislation.
In Finland, Brexit applies to about 5,000 British citizens living here. On 7 February, the Government submitted to the Parliament a proposal for a special act that stipulates that in the event of a no-deal withdrawal, Chapter 10 of the Aliens’ Act would apply to UK citizens for a fixed term. This would allow UK citizens to be considered equal to EU citizens in matters related to the right of residence, right to work and right to practise a profession.
Without this act, UK citizens residing in Finland without employment or on a small pension could not be granted a residence permit unless there were some other special grounds for granting a residence permit, such as family ties. A special act would also allow unemployed UK citizens to have access to public employment services and to remain eligible for unemployment benefits.
Government proposal to Parliament for a special act regarding the right of residence in Finland until the end of 2020 of UK citizens and their family members who have registered their residence in Finland (7 February 2019)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority, in cooperation with the European Consumer Center, has developed an information package on consumer rights, particularly in case of a no-deal Brexit. A no-deal Brexit would in many ways affect the rights of consumers, especially in travel and online shopping. The information package also tells you who will help the consumer in the Brexit topics related to consumer rights.
Information is available on the website of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority
The UK will no longer be included in the EURES network for public employment services. The special act regarding the residence and right to work of UK citizens living in Finland will not affect their right of free movement, because it is only applicable in Finland. UK citizens residing legally in Finland can use the services of EURES network in Finland in the same way as any other third-country nationals can.