Brexit – Information for doctors
Many doctors, and others, have questions about how the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) will affect doctors from Europe already working in the UK, and those who may wish to work here in the future.
We've been working closely with the four UK health departments to minimise any disruption to the UK workforce. While we await more information from the UK Government about what our future relationship with Europe will look like, we are doing all we can to prepare for the various scenarios that we may face.
We hope the information below will answer some of the questions you might have. These answers are based on the information available to us at the time of publishing (18 April 2019). We will update this page as and when circumstances change.
We have updated the information below following confirmation that the UK’s departure date has been delayed from the 29 March.
Where we refer to the European Economic Area (EEA) below, this includes all countries within the EU as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
What happens if the deal with the EU is approved?
If the deal agreed between the UK and EU is approved by the UK Parliament before the date the UK is due to leave the EU, we'd enter into a transition period until 31 December 2020. We expect that there would be no change to how we register doctors for the duration of the transition period.
What will happen to doctors from Europe already on your register if the UK leaves the EU without a deal?
The registration status of the majority of doctors from the EEA and Switzerland who already hold registration with the GMC will not be affected when the UK leaves the EU. If we think your registration status may be affected by Brexit (for example EEA or Swiss doctors holding temporary and occasional registration), we'll contact you to discuss the options available to you.
How will EEA and Swiss doctors join the register after Brexit?
If the UK and the EU agree a deal, we will enter into a transition period until 31 December 2020. We expect there would be no change to how we register doctors for the duration of the transition period.
In the event of no deal, we’ve been working with the four UK health departments so that doctors with relevant European qualifications* should be able to register with us in a timely and streamlined way.
*Qualifications listed under Annex V of the Recognition of Professional Qualifications directive.
I’ve got an application for GMC registration in progress. What will happen to my registration when the UK leaves the EU?
All applications from EEA and Swiss doctors submitted by 11 pm on the date the UK is due to leave the EU will be processed under the existing rules.
How will Brexit affect doctors with provisional registration, as opposed to doctors with full registration?
If the UK leaves without a deal, any EEA or Swiss doctors who hold provisional registration on the date the UK leaves the EU will be able to apply for full registration under the arrangements as they were, before the UK left the EU.
How will Brexit affect doctors from the UK who want to work in Europe?
If the UK leaves without a deal, EEA countries and Switzerland would no longer automatically recognise qualifications from the UK. Instead, doctors with a UK qualification would have to apply to work in an EEA country or Switzerland as an applicant from a third country. These processes differ from country to country, so you'll need to contact the regulator in the country you wish to work in, to verify the process.
When will any changes as a result of Brexit come into effect?
The timing for any changes to be introduced will depend on whether the Withdrawal Agreement with Europe is approved by Parliament and whether there is a transition period.