Now that the UK has formally left the EU, there is a transition period until the end of 2020, while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.

Current rules on trade, travel and business will continue to apply during the transition period. New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021.

Bristol Brexit Response Group

In response to the Brexit referendum in 2016, Mayor Marvin Rees convened a city-wide Brexit Response Group (BRG) to fully understand the challenges and opportunities posed by Brexit.

The group includes local organisations in the public, private, business and academic sectors as well as voluntary and community groups.

The BRG aims to:

  • look at the economic and social impact of the leave vote on citizens and communities in Bristol and the city as a whole
  • work with partners in the city to ensure effective community tension monitoring systems are in place and provide reassurance that Bristol remains an open and tolerant city
  • actively respond to the process of Britain leaving the EU
  • secure and develop Bristol's international reputation as a city that is open for business and can attract global investment and opportunities for citizens and businesses

Bristol and Brexit guide

The BRG submitted an initial series of responses and calls to action to central government on funding, economic and community impact.

The submissions are summarised in the pdf Bristol and Brexit guide (1.30 MB)  which:

  • outlines the issues at stake for Bristol
  • highlights the city's desire to work with government, the region and other Core Cities to inform the national response to the referendum

The BRG continues to meet, with a focus on what  Bristol as a city requires during the transition period, as well as any shared working opportunities in relation to Post-Brexit policy. 

How we are responding to Brexit

Before the UK's exit from the EU, we  published a pdf No Deal Scenario Assessment (862 KB)  that considered the potential implications of a No Deal Brexit for the council. This report assessed risk and identified the threats and opportunities of a No Deal Scenario.

The report summarised what the council was doing to make sure any potential negative effects on our citizens and services were  minimised while any opportunities were  maximised.


In partnership with Core Cities and the Local Government Association, Bristol has been active in calling on the government to:

  • protect the city economy
  • guarantee citizens' rights 
  • give cities the power to decide how replacement EU funding is spent

The Transition Period

During the transition period, we will continue to monitor the impact of Brexit on business, social care and the council's workforce (among other things). We'll also do proactive work on post-Brexit policy areas such as immigration and post-Brexit funding.

We will also continue to promote the EU Settlement Scheme and support citizens to apply for the scheme by working in partnership with other organisations in the city. We've also been active in engaging with government on how to better promote the scheme to vulnerable groups.

Information for EU citizens living in Bristol

If you're an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Find out more about the EU settlement scheme and how to apply online on GOV.UK.

The EU Settlement Scheme is now fully open. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.


There is no fee to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you've applied already and you paid a fee, you'll be refunded.

The government's website has advice about:

You can also sign up for email updates Go to (opens new window).

There is also a helpline you can call if you need help or information about your EU Settlement Scheme application:

To call from inside the UK:
Telephone: 0300 123 7379
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9:30am to 4:30pm

To call from outside the UK:
Telephone: +44 203 080 0010
Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday 9:30am to 4:30pm

Other sources of information and advice

Free advice on immigration policy

The Europe Direct Information Centre has free advice and resources to citizens on immigration policy, such as the EU Settlement Scheme. 

Europe Direct Information Centre is located at the Bristol Law Centre.