Current Affairs

Shadow Chancellor warns of no-deal Brexit’s impact on students

With a real possibility that the UK won’t agree a trade deal with the EU, Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East and Shadow Chancellor, has told The Blue that students are bound to be impacted by a no-deal Brexit.

Dodds told The Blue that: “A no deal Brexit would cause significant disruption for many people in Oxford. There would obviously be an impact on businesses trying to import and export, but there could also be consequences for anyone trying to travel or undertake different activities in other countries – including students from the EU 27, or who have family there. An ‘uncooperative’ no deal Brexit could also reduce the chances of reaching agreement in areas like joint research funding for the future.”

Just two weeks before the end of the transition period for Britain’s departure from the European Union, negotiations between the UK and the EU are ongoing. However, senior cabinet minister Michael Gove put the chances of Britain securing a trade deal with the EU at “less than 50%,” stating that it is probable Britain will leave “on WTO terms.” This would mean that the transition period ends without a further agreement between Britain and the European Union.

For the 143,000 EU students studying in the UK this raises concerns surrounding changes in their residency status, fees and their rights in the UK when the transition period ends on the 1st of January 2021.

The British government has issued assurances that EU students who have already started their courses will not see any change in their fees and will continue to pay the reduced rate associated with home status in the UK. However, any students from the EU who are currently living in the UK must apply for the EU Settlement Scheme by the 30th of June 2021.

The brunt of the changes that will occur in the absence of a further agreement between Britain and the EU will be borne by students who start a new course in the UK after the end of the transition period.

Under current arrangements, EU students who start their course after the 1st of August 2021 will be treated as international students, and will see their fees increase to the same as those of overseas students from non-EU countries. Additionally, freedom of movement between the EU and the UK will come to an end. This means that EU students who start studying in the UK from the 1st of January will have to apply for a student visa in order to study in the country.

The University of Oxford itself has issued a statement on the issue, reassuring students that: ‘”Whatever the outcome the University of Oxford is, and intends to remain, a thriving, cosmopolitan community of scholars and students united in our commitment to education and research. The departure from the EU will not change this; our staff and students from across the world are as warmly welcome as ever.”

Further advice for EU students studying in the UK can be found on the University of Oxford website: https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/oxford-and-the-eu

Caleb van Ryneveld

Caleb van Ryneveld is the News Editor for Current Affairs at The Oxford Blue. He is a student at Christ Church reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics and is currently serving as Returning Officer of the Oxford Student Union.