Message from the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Brexit

Professor Gill Valentine, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, provides an update on Brexit.

Dear colleague,

A lot has happened since our President and Vice-Chancellor last wrote to you about Brexit, so I wanted to update you on what we now know. As I’m sure you are aware, it has been confirmed that the UK will not be leaving the EU today (31 October 2019). Last week the prime minister, as required by law, wrote to the EU requesting an extension of the Article 50 process until 31 January 2020. The EU has granted this request and offered a so-called ‘flextension’, which means the UK could leave before this date if a deal is approved by Parliament.

We now also know that there will be a general election on 12 December 2019.

As a university, our preparations for a range of different Brexit outcomes will continue to ensure we are in a strong position to react as and when any announcements are made. Our Brexit Coordination Group, which I chair, met last week and will continue to meet to discuss actions we can take to mitigate the impact of Brexit on a number of areas, including student and staff mobility and research.

Our University Secretary Dr Tony Strike has prepared a webinar about our preparations for a no deal Brexit for Universities UK International, which you may be interested to watch.

We are continuing to offer advice and support to anyone who has any questions and concerns, including:

Legal briefing sessions led by immigration specialists Eversheds Sutherland, with advice about the EU Settlement Scheme. If you are a non-UK EU member of staff, applying for the EU Settlement Scheme is the way to ensure you have ongoing legal status to live and work in the UK after Brexit. If you haven’t been able to attend a session so far, you can watch a recording of the most recent briefing on our international staff web pages.

A legal helpline hosted by immigration specialists and drop-in sessions for staff to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. If you would like to make an appointment for either of these, please email

Our Brexit Advice FAQs will continue to be updated with the latest information on a wide range of areas, including student and staff mobility, research, Erasmus and travel. You can also contact us with any questions or concerns via

Ahead of the general election on 12 December 2019, if you are eligible to vote in the UK, I would encourage you to ensure you are registered to vote. You can do this at

We will continue to keep you updated.

Thank you,

Professor Gill Valentine

Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Brexit Coordination Group