A No-Deal Brexit – Is It Worrisome For British Expats In EU?

  • Jan 15, 2019 GMT
  • Team Kalkine
A No-Deal Brexit – Is It Worrisome For British Expats In EU?

One of the most fundamental concerns about the post-Brexit situation is the rights and movement of citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) living across Eurozone countries. The theme around social protection and immigration remains hazy. Although broadly, the UK and EU are mutually trying not to disrupt the cross-border flow of trade and people through regulatory friction, there will still be limitations on education, work and travel. There are about more than one and a half million UK citizens residing or working in the EU, which will have to ensure that these expats feel safeguarded and free in lieu of the similar treatment for the EU citizens living in Britain. The current rights for the UK citizens living in EU will hopefully remain intact until the cut-off date.

A fair transition period, which is 29 March 2019, to 31 December 2020 tentatively, has been agreed upon for the businesses and citizens to adapt to the changes that will follow and register for residence permits if the UK finally signs off the Brexit deal with European Union (EU). Basically, UK citizens will become foreigners in any EU state that they live in beyond March 29. The new-borns of people who have complied with all the requisites until March 29, will be included in the agreement as well. Given the challenges seen ahead on specific privileges, it is worth noting that British expats in Spain currently have free access to Spanish GPs and hospital treatment is also funded by NHS. Later, Spain will only finance their medical bills as they become permanent residents. Although, the position for the British expats remains the same until March 29, the rules for people retiring somewhere in the EU after the deal are still unclear. If the negotiations don’t go as smooth, the British citizens will have to abide by laws of the country they live in. Interestingly, the pet owners with UK issued pet passports will not be affected.

In addition, after a no-deal Brexit, the UK expats will not be able to vote for local Commune Councillors in their respective EU country of choice or become a commune councillor. Many banking giants such as Bank of America, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Standard Chartered, Nomura banks and car manufacturers like Ford have announced plans to shift EU headquarters from London to Frankfurt. This indicates a rise in opportunities in the EU for high skilled professionals. As of now, it is essential to recognise that the agreement that was announced is not definitive and conclusive. The stance is still developing and there is no certainty for what the future holds for the British nationals across EU. It is being speculated that the Prime Minister may only get a deal as proposed. At the backdrop of other substantial shifts occurring in the world, Brexit might cause deceleration of the UK economy and subsequent turbulence, which will in turn impact millions of people who voted in favour for it.

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