Information about Brexit

The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. There is currently a transition period until 31 December 2020. During this period, nothing will change for VU Amsterdam, or for its students and staff. What the situation will be after 31 December 2020 is not yet entirely clear, however. This will depend on the outcome of the negotiations that are underway between the EU and the UK. 
Despite this lack of clarity, we want to prepare the university and its students and staff for the situation after 31 December 2020 as fully as we can. In this letter, we will briefly clarify what the outlook is with regard to a number of important matters. 

Before 31 December 2020 
For British students who are resident in the Netherlands before 31 December 2020 and who are registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP), the same laws and regulations apply as for EU students. This applies even if the student is not yet studying. The statutory tuition fees and the right to student grants will therefore remain unchanged for this group. Neither are they subject to the Modern Migration Act (MoMi).

After 31 December 2020 

It is not yet clear what the exact consequences will be for British students who come to the Netherlands after 31 December 2020. This will depend on the outcome of the negotiations that are underway between the EU and the UK. There are two possible scenarios:
  1. ‘Hard Brexit’
    If the UK and the EU fail to reach an agreement (and there is a ‘hard Brexit’), newly arriving students from the UK will be treated as non-EU citizens. This means that if they require a study visa, the institutional tuition fees will apply and they will be subject to the Modern Migration Act. That means that they will only be able to work in the Netherlands if they have a work permit and for a maximum of 16 hours per week. If the student is entitled to a different type of residence permit, such as one based on family reunification, the corresponding tuition fee rules will apply, as set out in the Application and Registration Regulations (RAI). They will not be affected by the Modern Migration Act.
  2. Agreement
    If the EU and the UK reach an agreement, different rules may apply. In this event, further information will be provided as soon as it is available.
The Netherlands has no power to influence the tuition fees applied in the UK for EU students. The UK government has not yet made a decision on these fees.
Before 31 December 2020 
During the transition period (until 31 December 2020), the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) will invite British citizens and their family members to submit an application for a permanent residence permit. The same residence conditions will apply to the granting of these residence permits as for EU citizens. This means that British citizens who are lawfully resident in the Netherlands before 1 January 2021 can continue to live, study and work here.

After 31 December 2020
It is not yet clear what the exact consequences will be for British citizens who come to the Netherlands after 31 December 2020. This will depend on the outcome of the negotiations that are underway between the EU and the UK. There are two possible scenarios:
  1. ‘Hard Brexit’
    If the UK and the EU fail to reach an agreement (and there is a ‘hard Brexit’), British citizens who want to work at VU Amsterdam (whether on the basis of an employment contract or as a guest) will need a residence permit and a work permit. Applications will be handled by the university’s International Office. 
  2. Agreement
    If the EU and the UK reach an agreement, different rules may apply. In this event, further information will be provided as soon as it is available.
The UK will remain part of Erasmus+ (2014-2020) and Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) until the end of the transition period (31 December 2020). Projects funded through Erasmus+ (2014-2020) and Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) can be completed after the end of the transition period. It is not yet clear whether the UK can continue to participate in Erasmus+ (2021-2027) and Horizon Europe (2021-2027) after the end of the transition period. If no agreement is reached, the UK will no longer participate in these programmes.
If the UK and the EU fail to reach an agreement (and there is a ‘hard Brexit’), personal data can no longer be freely provided to organizations located in the UK. Relevant examples include the contracting of British suppliers of IT systems, the use of servers or cloud storage in the UK, British IT suppliers who work with our own suppliers, and the sharing of personal data with British institutions including research institutions.

The Department of Administrative and Legal Affairs (BJZ) sent a memorandum regarding this to the Faculties and Services in February 2019, asking them to draw up an inventory of which data was being exchanged with the UK (see attachment). It is important that the Faculties and Services continue to keep this inventory updated.

If and when it becomes clear that there will be a hard Brexit, the Department of Administrative and Legal Affairs will advise the Faculties and Services on whether the exchange of personal data can be continued and, if so, in what form. It is expected that additional contracts will then need to be signed and associated technical measures will need to be taken.

Finally

You can find extensive information about Brexit on the website of the Government of the Netherlands

If you have any questions regarding the content of this letter or if you need further clarification, the Brexit working group can be contacted through Henny Smit of the International Office at [email protected] or Lisette Flohil of Administrative and Legal Affairs at [email protected].