EU warns hard Brexit will invalidate all UK qualifications

Published:  25 Jun at 6 PM
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The European Commission is warning formal qualifications obtained in the UK may not be recognised across the EU after Brexit.

At the present time, formal UK-obtained qualifications for regulated careers are recognised across all EU member states, but this is expected to change should the UK crash out of Europe without an agreed deal. Those affected would need to requalify in Europe or attempt to regain recognition of their certificates before they will be allowed to work in the EU. The rule will apply to those who complete training or gain degrees after Brexit, with those who graduate before a no-deal Brexit kicks in will not be affected. According to an EU spokesperson, as of the date of withdrawal the recognition of professional qualifications will no longer apply to the UK.

The EU’s list of regulated professions is over 600 long, and includes bankers, data processing, dentistry, engineering, financial advisors, teachers, IT, nursing, medical and health-related professions, real estate, the veterinary profession, doctors and surgeons, as well as a host of professions for which qualifications are neither required nor necessary. Basically, no-one whose profession is included would be able to apply for work in the EU post-Brexit until they’d retrained according to EU rules, and expats already working in Europe would be in a difficult but as yet undefined position dependent on an agreement.

Apart from the effect on qualified Britons already working in EU member states, the issue is likely to devastate the UK’s thriving higher education sector, which attracts a huge number of overseas students looking for quality education and meaningful degrees at a high price. According to a government spokesperson, a no-deal outcome is not expected as the UK negotiating team has already agreed continued recognition of UK qualifications across a broad range of professions. However, in a statement on the no-deal issue, Jean Claude Juncker recently advised EU member states to accelerate their preparation for a no-deal British exit due to the lack of progress on the Irish border problem as well as other issues.
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