The Brexit App Will Finally Work on iPhones by the End of the Year

By Holly Brockwell on at

All the way back in November, we wrote about the fact that the very important smartphone app required to apply for 'settled status' in the UK after Brexit only works on Android phones, because Apple wouldn't allow the NFC chip in iPhones to be used in the way it required.

Now, five entire months later, Apple has finally agreed a deal that will allow the Brexit app to work on iPhones by the end of the year.

We don't want to call Apple slow, but we're supposed to have left the EU twice in the time it's taken them to sort this out, and will probably have tried twice more by the time the year ends.

The NFC chip is needed because part of the application process involves scanning your passport (as well as taking a selfie!).

At the time the app was released, the government got a lot of abuse and ridicule for making an app that only works on Android when iPhones are so popular, but although we're the last people to defend the current plankton in parliament, in this case it wasn't really their fault. Apple really needs to learn that opening up its tech a tiny bit won't cause its whole world to collapse in flames.

Admittedly, "openness is a good thing" is clearly a lesson we need to learn too, or we wouldn't have a Brexit app in the first place.

Home secretary Sajid Javid comments:

"I’ve had numerous conversations with Apple at the highest levels to ensure everyone can use the app. Together we’ve been working hard to find a solution that will allow the app to work on their devices.

I’m pleased to confirm that Apple will be making the necessary changes and the app will be working on their mobile and tablet devices by the end of the year."

All of which begs the question, which will come first? Apple opening the door a tiny bit, or Brexit? We might finally find out who wins the race of the tortoise vs the tortoise.