Chamber Brexit is Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s initiative to support and assist businesses during the Brexit process. MPs and local leading political, legal and business figures are supporting its bi-monthly Brexit Seminars to provide information and ensure business is heard.

Richmond Chamber of Commerce CEO Anne Newton said: “Brexit, 'What does it mean for your business...' a theme we launched on December 2, 2016 at the House of Lords with a number of local peers and MPs, together with our headline sponsor Moore Blatch Solicitors and sponsors Richmond and Twickenham Times and RACC.

“MPs and local leading political legal and business figures are supporting our bi-monthly Brexit Seminars with a keen eye to business' responses to the information shared within this Chamber forum; our aim is to ensure business is heard and prepares as robustly as possible, whilst remaining as innovative and entrepreneurial as ever.”

Immigration solicitor Tamara Rundle of Chamber Brexit’s headline sponsor Moore Blatch explains the health insurance headache facing EU citizens:

"Since voting to leave the EU there has been a sharp rise in the number of EU nationals seeking to show they have British residency. With no clarification forthcoming as to the status of EU nationals on our shores, this is only set to rise. This is especially true for EU nationals that consider the UK to be their permanent home.

"London and Richmond have always welcomed people from across the water, whether that’s the English Channel or any other sea or ocean between them and us. Much of our economic fortune has been built on both the intellect and hard graft of non-UK nationals and therefore Brexit is understandably causing concern. Many people are looking to legally confirm what was previously taken for granted.

"To qualify for permanent residence, an EU national needs to have lived here for five years continuously. But, to the surprise of many and the alarm of some, it transpires that if for part of this period they were not economically active they needed comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI) for that time.

"EU Nationals are advised to evidence residence. The Government must clarify its position, but in the meantime it is prudent to plan ahead and apply for British Citizenship. If the Government does not guarantee the rights of all EU nationals to remain, the rush to apply for citizenship will be unprecedented. With an application costing £65 now is the time to act.

"For those who would have qualified but for lack of CSI, there are other routes open to you. Many are established with friends, family and/or work; Article 8 of the Human Rights Act protects rights to a private and family life. Others are content to be ‘Qualified Persons’ and, with advice, will start their five qualifying years now to reach permanent residence later.

"Few predicted the headache presented by CSI and as such the government may grant amnesty to all those affected. Until then, there is much you can do. To date we haven’t had a single application turned down."