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What will Brexit mean for UK expats in the EU?

What will Brexit mean for UK expats in the EU?

Over a million UK expats are thought to be living abroad in EU countries. On the 29th March 2017 Britain triggered Article 50, the official process for leaving the EU, and now the country has two years to negotiate its exit. However, since Article 50 has never been triggered before, it is not clear how complicated the process could be or what the results of the negotiations will be – leaving everyone with a very uncertain future.

So, if you’re wondering what Brexit will mean for UK expats in the EU, this article should provide some insight on the possibilities.

What are my rights for remaining in the EU after Brexit?

Subjects such as freedom of movement, and the rights of Brits to remain living in the EU, will all hinge on the nature of deals made as part of the Brexit process. Negotiations will need to be made between governments over the rights of both UK nationals in the EU, and EU nationals in the UK.

As it stands, if a British citizen has been living in an EU country for 5 years or more, they have a right to apply for permanent residency. However, the cutoff point is difficult to determine in some cases. Whether these permanent residency rules will continue after Brexit also needs more clarity. Realistically, British expats in the EU are unlikely to be deported, as the rules under which they settled within the EU country will still stand.

Brexit, Europe and British expats moving

Will my job in the EU be safe after Brexit?

After Brexit, UK citizens living in the EU may have to apply for work visas in order to retain, or obtain, jobs. A rule exists for roughly 15 EU member states that it has to be proven that there are no viable candidates within the EU before they search for candidates outside. This rule would most likely not apply for expats already holding positions.

Can I keep my EU property after Brexit?

Currently, UK residents living in many EU countries are protected from a few different rules, such as residence permits, higher mortgage rates, and government permission. These privileges could potentially be revoked after Brexit, though your essential right to own and keep your property should remain unchanged.

Can I study abroad after Brexit?

It’s always been an attractive option for British students to study abroad, and EU countries have been especially popular with Brits. Many benefits of our EU membership have been enjoyed by students, such as low local tuition fees. After Brexit, UK students may find themselves forking out higher fees which are reserved for EU-outsiders, making studying abroad more costly.

How will Brexit affect my EU healthcare?

The European Health Insurance card has been a godsend for British citizens who fall ill in EU countries. This inexpensive, or free, health care access may be revoked once Brexit is finalised, depending on the result of negotiations.

I’m a British pensioner living in the EU; what will happen to my pension?

Currently, pensions are protected and also experience an annual inflationary increase due to Britain’s inclusion in the single market. This is a privilege usually only applied to EU or EEA membership countries, but only time will tell if the UK government can secure a favourable deal for elderly expats.

If you’re planning a move to Europe or the UK, the experienced team at Britannia Sandersteads can help. We use our 50 years’ of industry knowledge to deliver local, international and European removals to satisfied clients around the world. Using our specialist packing and transporting services, our fleet of vehicles are on hand to get your treasured belongings safe and sound to their new home. We offer our services across Greater London & Surrey, including Croydon, Epsom, Reigate, Weybridge and beyond – contact us today to find out more.



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