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News & Blog

Posted: 23rd January 2020

Edinburgh’s specialist service to support EU Nationals has helped 2,265 people in Edinburgh and the length and breadth of the country apply for settled status.

With one week to go until the UK’s planned exit from the EU, the latest figures reveal a rise in the number of people seeking our support, with applications breaking the 2,000 milestone at the start of 2020.

In March, £25,000 from our Priorities Fund was set aside to help resource the Council’s registrar services. They continue to offer a free face-to-face appointment service for those seeking to apply to the Home Office for settled status beyond Brexit.

Here, Council Leaders outline key risks identified in Edinburgh and how we’ve been planning for them.

“Councils across the country are preparing for 31 January by implementing resilience plans and in Edinburgh. we’ve been holding regular meetings since 2018”, said Council Leader Adam McVey.

“This work has given us a broad understanding of the risks posed by Brexit to the city, including on business and our local economy, but most importantly on our people.”

Our workforce: there are 40,000 EU nationals in Edinburgh and over 1,000 are Council employees

Cllr McVey continued: “Edinburgh’s international mix of residents is part of what makes our city so unique and amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty, it’s never been more important that our colleagues and residents continue to feel valued and welcome.

“We’re committed to giving the right support at the right time to the many residents, pupils and patients who rely on the Council’s services every day. I’m pleased that we’ve been able to assist 2,265 residents apply to the Home Office through the support we’re offering at the Council and we know that tens of thousands more have applied direct.*

“For many months now, we’ve been in contact with every single one of our EU, EEA and Swiss employees, offering guidance around continuing to live, work and study in post-Brexit Edinburgh. As further clarity from the Home Office is given, more updates will follow but I want everyone to know how valued and welcomed they are. Many are Edinburgh’s residents too, and this is their home.”

Our supply chain: more than 1,500 suppliers provide goods and services to the Council

Depute Leader Cammy Day explains: “As a Capital city, it’s no surprise that Edinburgh operates day to day thanks to network of contractors and suppliers. We rely on organisations to provide us with the ingredients we need for our hot school meals, the critical medication patients require for their health and social care needs, all the way through to the tools and materials used to delivery major building and infrastructure projects.

“Our procurement team has been working closely with suppliers, surveying them to better understand how key suppliers are preparing for the UK leaving the EU, and to seek to identify which suppliers or sectors are most at risk, so that suitable mitigations can be made.”

Our local economy: 39,000 businesses in Edinburgh and a buoyant economy

Cllr Day continued: “We have the most successful local economy outside of London and thanks to the vibrant mix of business enterprises continuing to call Edinburgh home, we’re confident Edinburgh’s economy is strong enough to ride the potential negative impacts of Brexit.

“That doesn’t mean the impact won’t be felt or that we are safe from austerity. We’ve been backing the Scottish Government’s advice for all businesses to plan for a no-deal Brexit. Assuming a reasonable worst-case scenario allows organisations to mitigate risks in case Brexit results in severe disruption to trade. Our leading Business Gateway service remains open to anyone who would like to seek support.”

Access to support

You can make an appointment to meet with our City of Edinburgh Council registration colleagues, face to face. We’re here to help you:

Call the EU Citizens Support Service helpline if you have concerns on 0800 916 9847. It’s free + open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm:

Contact Business Gateway service for support for your Edinburgh business:
Visit Invest Edinburgh to find out more about Edinburgh’s economy beyond Brexit:

The Government’s Prepare for Brexit toolkit offers helpful self-assessments, actions for business owners to take and information on grants available to help businesses prepare for customs procedures after Brexit:

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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