The UK's exit from the EU

On 23 June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU), via a nationwide referendum.

BCP Council’s focus has been to prepare for any potential adverse impact of Brexit on the continuity and quality of its services. In order to protect the social and economic resilience of the conurbation, it has also been actively working with other public and private sector partners, sharing intelligence and developing robust contingency plans for a potential ‘no deal’ EU exit.

Our main aims are to:

  • ensure robust business continuity plans are in place across the organisation to safeguard the continuation of critical services to residents

  • examine the potential economic and social impact of leaving without a deal on communities in the conurbation.

  • Support and prepare residents and businesses through the process of leaving

  • work with partners to ensure effective community tension monitoring systems are in place and provide reassurance that Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole remains an open and tolerant place to live and work 

Port of Poole

In the event of a no deal scenario, all livestock and consumer goods entering the port of Poole will need to undergo border checks and inspections from Environment Services which may result in delays getting through the Port operation.

BCP Council has been working with its public sector partners and the Port of Poole to ensure that any impact on the Port’s operations is mitigated.

Contingency plans put in place will ensure that freight vehicles travelling via the Port of Poole will be able to be processed efficiently without causing a backlog that spreads onto the highway network and impacts the travelling public.

EU Citizens

The UK government has reached an agreement with the EU that will protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK. It has also reached an agreement with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and a separate agreement with Switzerland.

These agreements mean that most citizens from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland will need to apply to stay in the UK. They can then continue living their lives here as they do now.

If you’re an EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen, and would like to continue living and working in the UK, you and your family can apply for free to the EU Settlement Scheme. The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme:

  • 30 June 2021 if there is a deal
  • 31 December 2020 if there is no deal

Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (Settled and Pre-Settled status)

Businesses and self-employed

If you are a business owner and trade any goods or services with the EU, you’ll need to get ready for Brexit.

For example, you need to take action if you:

  • export goods to the EU

  • import goods from the EU

  • transport goods by road

  • export animals or animal products

Find out how to prepare your business from Brexit

Other sources of information and advice

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council’s Citizens Advice is working to support vulnerable EU citizens across Dorset, by offering help with applications to the EU Settlement Scheme. 

For details of local support available to help people claim settled status, email

Advice can also be found at Dorset Race Equality Council

All the latest government guidance on how the UK is preparing to exit the EU