Former PM Theresa May offered temporary guarantees for UK citizens living in EU countries via The Withdrawal Agreement, but that did not get approved by the Parliament and so a no-deal Brexit on the 31st of October could very well happen.
Britons living in EU countries (in the EU27)
The UK is home to 3.2 million nationals and there are approximately 1.4 million UK born people living in other EU countries including Spain, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Cyprus. The pre-mentioned Withdrawal agreement would allow them to keep their freedom of movement and EU citizenship rights, until the very last day of 2020, when the Brexit transition would come to an end.
But, with a no-deal, the uncertainty of the British living in these EU states is more apparent now than ever. The priority for most will be to register as residents, but each country within the EU has its own set of rules and regulations, including deadlines for paperwork.
The European Commission urged the EU27 to:
Take a generous approach to the rights of UK citizens in the EU, provided that this approach is reciprocated by the UK” and “should adopt a pragmatic approach to granting temporary residence status.
Brexit and the effects of travelling to and from the UK
There was a proposal by the Commission, for visa-free travel for British visitors to the EU provided that the UK reciprocates. According to the political declaration agreed alongside the withdrawal deal, the UK said that after the transition:
The principle of free movement of persons between the Union and the United Kingdom will no longer apply.
It talks about “non-discrimination” and “full reciprocity” and talks about both sides “aiming to provide, through their domestic laws, visa-free travel for short term visits”.
But there is still hope for a UK and EU relationship which will most likely be negotiated in the near future.
If a no-deal was to take place, the aforementioned declaration would be void and the UK would be treated by the EU as a “third country, like other non-EU-states. This means that the British living in the EU would be treated as Americans or Chinese, depending on the rules of each individual member states.
Brexit’s effects on work and education
A no-deal Brexit will immediately affect UK-born people whose work requires them to travel to more than one EU state. It will be difficult for them to move to another EU country and start a job there easily.
Mobility in the EU is an important part of the lives of “techies” who work in the private sector. Specialists who are involved in various projects within other EU states and need to travel on very short notice will not have the freedom to travel across to these countries.
A member of the campaign group British in Germany, Daniel Tetlow said:
This has huge career implications for all UK citizens, not just those living in the EU, as is often misunderstood…British in Germany is part of the coalition British in the EU.
It’s not yet made clear what UK professional qualifications will be recognised in the EU after Brexit hits as these will be negotiated.
For British students currently studying in the EU27, they can continue under the current system but from the year 2021, they may face the same tuition fees that non-EU students pay. Germany and Norway are the only countries that offer free tuition for international students.
Brexit’s effects on the Healthcare system shared by the UK and EU
A no-deal Brexit would mean the current healthcare system shared by the UK and the EU will no longer apply. Prices would likely be more expensive, especially for those who want sufficient healthcare or life insurance for holiday or work in the EU.
British people could find that their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is no longer a valid document in some EU states.
Registrations of some medications and delivery of them would most likely be delayed.
Until the time Brexit actually happens, the government says it is “seeking agreements with countries on health care arrangements for UK nationals”, but there is no such agreement in place with any of the EU states yet. The information will be updated if the circumstances change.