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How Will Brexit Affect UK Citizens Moving Overseas?

How Will Brexit Affect UK Citizens Moving Overseas?

brexit choices

As of 11 pm on the 31st January 2020, the UK left the EU’s political bodies and institutions but it is far from being clear cut, as Brexit is still yet to be defined. What we do know is that the UK still shares the EU laws for the next 11 months and will still remain part of the single market and EU customs union, whilst undergoing the transition. So what does this mean to those UK citizens and how will Brexit affect moving overseas? This month, Sandersteads Removals are here to offer a little insight into the future of Brexit.

Requirements of visas to travel to European countries

Travelling to European countries will change as of January 1st 2021 – so this year, you need not worry about any immediate or drastic changes. That said, you can expect that holidaying, moving or travelling to the EU, Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein is likely to change. Passport checks are likely to be needed, so ensure that your passport is less than 10 years old or renew your passport here.  Before travelling, make sure that your travel insurance covers your healthcare too, check to make sure you have the right driving documents required to drive elsewhere, and if you’re travelling with pets, see your vet 4 months before. These rules aren’t the same when travelling to Ireland – you can use your current passport if it’s in date and will remain in date throughout the duration of your stay.  uk passport

Changing rules regarding international driving licenses

Driving licences will remain under the same rules until the 31st of December 2020.

How Brexit directly affects the moving industry directly

Those living in the UK who are looking to move to an EU country are likely to be mixed up in the uncertainty of Brexit. With ongoing negotiations, nothing is set in stone and the fact is, plans to buy a holiday home or permanently move will be affected by Brexit and will impact these big decisions. It doesn’t just stop there, Brexit can have a short-term effect on:

  • Travel and holidays
  • Living and working abroad
  • Retiring overseas
  • Accessing pensions
  • Driving in Europe
  • The surge of people looking to move to Europe

This all means that for the moving industry, there has been a short-term boost in moves. However short-lived, in 2021, depending on the agreed new rules, Brexit could make international relocations extremely difficult and therefore, impact those working within the moving industry.

white moving lorry

What does Brexit mean for expats?

Since Brexit was announced, there’s been a 45% rise in requests to move from people living in European countries, including expats. It was reported by the Financial Times in 2019 that the vote in favour of Brexit has encouraged a significant percentage of British people to move to Europe. The uncertainty of Brexit has pushed many Brits to either up and move or return back to the UK before the rules change.

Moving to Europe at the moment is straightforward, but this is all about to change. Since there are plentiful uncertainties, people are seeing this as a now or never situation.

Is there a chance I can still live in the EU after Brexit?

There are many things that might happen but the two ends of the spectrum are:

  • Hard Brexit – the right to live in the EU will no longer be allowed and the EU might have to give visas for people to have the right to settle. This could be a costly result for those in skilful trades such as scientists and engineers.
  • Soft Brexit – will allow people to have the freedom of movement, this would have a low impact on the UK economy, which means people would still be able to move and work within the EU.

The bottom line is, everything is under scrutiny and the certainty of correctly guessing the outcome is low, this is why many people are taking that leap of faith, ensuring their freedom before the decisions are final.

Healthcare & EHIC

UK-issued EHICs, also known as European Health Insurance Cards will still be valid in EU countries until the last day of 2020. Should you travel to another EU country, make sure that you have in-date travel insurance.


Moving to another EU country

The freedom of movement has enabled companies to flourish and extend their services across the globe, which means Brexit can affect both small and large companies and that’s certainly the case in the removals industry. Should the freedom of movement end, this could limit the skills of those working within the removal sector, but might also open doors and create more opportunities for those interested in the industry to work for a UK-based company.

If you’re thinking of moving abroad, the moving experts at Britannia Sandersteads can help you get there. Our experienced team can help you organise an international move, ensuring your belongings are safely transported to your new home. With  years of experience and a strong reputation, you can rely upon us for all your relocation needs. Get in touch with our helpful team with any enquiries – we operate locally around the areas of Surrey, Croydon, Epsom, Kingston upon Thames and London.


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