If the UK leaves the European Union without a Brexit deal, the automatic mutual recognition of architecture qualifications between the two sides will no longer exist, making it more difficult for firms in one territory to hire staff from the other, it has emerged.
The Architects Registration Board (ARB), a statutory body that regulates the UK architecture profession, has warned that if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) without a deal on its future relationship architects coming to the UK for work would have to have their qualifications recognised through a "new procedure".
No-deal Brexit means no mutual arrangement
Mutual recognition of professional qualifications between the UK and the EU would cease on 30 March 2019 – the date the UK plans to leave the EU – unless an agreement is reached, according to technical notes released by the UK government.
A no-deal Brexit means British architects would no longer have their qualifications recognised in countries within the European Economic Area (EEA). Instead they would need to abide by the policies of each EU member state host.
Architects arriving in the UK from the European Economic Area after Brexit would need their qualifications ratified by an as-yet-unknown process. The UK will be responsible for setting this system up.
Those architects from the EEA who have already had a recognition decision in the UK would be unaffected, said the ARB. Architects already in the process of applying for recognition should be unaffected, as long as their application is in line with the EU's Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive.
Negotiations stall over border issues
The UK triggered Article 50 on 29 March 2017, so unless an extension is agreed the UK will be leaving the EU next March – with or without an agreement deal.
Fears of a no-deal Brexit are growing, with negotiations stalling over the issue of the land border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and Ireland, which is a member of the EU.
UK prime minister Theresa May arrived in Brussels today to address EU leaders, who will then decide – without her being present – on the next steps in the negotiations. An EU summit could be scheduled for mid-November to finalise the Brexit deal, but this may not happen until the December summit.
In January, Dezeen reported that European architects working in the UK were "frantically" applying for UK citizenship in order to secure their continued employment. Over 33 per cent of London's architects come from either the the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland.
The Creative Industries Federation has already released guidelines to help UK creative businesses prepare for a no-deal Brexit.