The GMC registrations of doctors from Europe already working in the UK, and those who may wish to work in the UK in the future may be affected once the UK leaves the EU.

The GMC has provided guidance for foreign doctors on Brexit implications.

The GMC said it was working closely with the four UK health departments to minimise any disruption to the UK workforce after March. While they await more information from the UK Government about what the UK’s future relationship with Europe will look like, they were “doing all we can to prepare for the various scenarios that we may face.”

From the GMC website:

What happens if there’s a deal before 29 March 2019?

If the UK and EU agree a deal before 29 March 2019, the UK would enter into a transition period until 31 December 2020. The GMC expects that there would be no change to how they 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 at the end of March?

 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 on 29 March 2019. If the GMC is of the view that registration statuses may be affected by Brexit (for example EEA or Swiss doctors holding temporary and occasional registration) they have said they will contact doctors to discuss what options are available.

Will the registration process change for EEA qualified doctors and medical students wanting to join the UK register in the future?

 The GMC does not have definitive answers yet as there is still no clear guidance form the UK Government.  The GMC has therefore said that there is still uncertainty around how this might impact on EEA or Swiss doctors wishing to join our register after March 2019. However, they’ve been working with the UK Government and officials in the devolved nations to make sure there are no disproportionate obstacles for EEA or Swiss doctors wishing to work here in the future. They will publish further information.

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 29 March 2019 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 29 March 2019 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 will 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? 

Current plans mean that the UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 at 11 pm. 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. The GMC will update these FAQs as soon as we have more information.

Stephen McCaffrey

I am a GMC Defence Barrister who has represented large number of medical professionals before their regulatory bodies in either first instance proceedings or appeals.  I can help with all matters relating to GMC Fitness to Practise Referrals issues including:

  • GMC fitness to practise referrals
  • GMC fitness to practise hearings
  • Appeals against a MPTS Tribunal determination
  • MPTS Interim Order hearings
  • Appeals against a MPTS Interim Orders Tribunal determination
  • Preparing your case before the Case Examiners
  • Help with the decision of the Case Examiners
  • Help with voluntary removal
  • Registration advice
  • Appeal against refusal of registration
  • Restoration to the Register
  • Investigation and disciplinary hearings at work
  • Criminal investigation and proceedings
  • Police cautions
  • DBS [Disclosure and Barring Service] issues

We are expert GMC Defence Barristers

Speak to an expert GMC Defence Barrister for expert legal advice and help.