Friday, 9 May 2014

What happens to British expatriates if the UK leaves the EU?



By Steve Peers

While much of the debate about the UK’s membership focusses upon the 2.3 million citizens of other EU countries living in the UK, a nearly identical number of UK citizens live in other Member States. There has been surprisingly little discussion about what would happen to them if the UK left the EU. ‘Europe Day’ is a suitable occasion to look at this issue in more detail.

Essentially, there are three different scenarios following withdrawal, as far as the movement of people between the UK and the remaining EU is concerned.

In the first scenario, the UK retains its membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), an existing treaty which extends much of the EU’s single market, and some related policies, to Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. This would mean that all the existing rules on the free movement of people continue to apply.

But is this politically realistic? The opponents of UK membership of the EU traditionally based their arguments on issues of cost and sovereignty. These arguments have not disappeared, but they have been joined by a third main argument: immigration control. The EEA does allow its members to adopt safeguard measures if there are ‘serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties of a sectorial or regional nature’ which are ‘liable to persist’, but these measures must be ‘restricted with regard to their scope and duration to what is strictly necessary in order to remedy the situation’. It is questionable whether these limited possibilities would be sufficient to satisfy those who are concerned about the numbers of people in the UK from the rest of (or rather, the remaining) European Union.


In the second scenario, the UK and the EU negotiate an ad hoc solution regulating the movement of persons, which falls short of the EEA rules but which contains some special rules which facilitate the movement of persons to some degree. But it’s impossible to know at this point whether such an agreement would be signed, and what its content would be. So it’s not possible to analyse this possibility in any detail.

The third scenario is that there’s no agreement between the UK and EU on this issue, and so only the national law of the UK on the one hand, and the EU and its Member States on the other hand, regulates the issue. It’s possible that the second and third scenarios could be combined in some way. For instance, there could be a treaty which focuses entirely, or mostly, upon protecting the rights of those persons who moved before the UK’s withdrawal, leaving the issue of migration after the withdrawal date to be governed by national law (and partly by EU law, for the remaining Member States).

We have a good idea what this third scenario would entail, for those UK citizens who live (or would like to live) in the remaining EU. That’s because there is already a significant body of EU immigration law. Since the UK has opted out of most of it, this law hasn’t attracted much attention in the UK, but it would be hugely relevant to UK citizens in the remaining EU in the event of the third scenario. There’s also a body of EU asylum law, and if UK citizens were non-EU citizens (third-country nationals), they could apply for asylum in the EU (and vice versa). But (for now at least) this prospect seems improbable.

This analysis will therefore look in turn at the impact of applying three other main areas of law to UK citizens: border and visa law; legal migration law; and the law on ‘illegal’ (ie, irregular) migration.

EU law on borders and visas

UK citizens already have to cross the ‘Schengen’ border when they visit other most other Member States (Ireland does not have to join the Schengen rules, and Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Croatia have not done so yet). However, the checks on UK citizens currently co-exist with EU free movement law, meaning that the checks can only be cursory, in order to verify British citizens’ identity and nationality at Schengen borders.  

Following a UK withdrawal from the EU, the borders rules alone would apply, meaning that there will be more intrusive questions about the purpose of each British citizen’s visit, and checks on the intention to return and level of income.

As for visas, the EU would be free to impose visa requirements on UK citizens in the event of withdrawal. While the EU tends not to impose visa requirements on wealthy countries, it does expect such countries (such as the USA and Canada) in return to exempt all EU citizens from a visa. So if the UK wished to impose visas (for instance) on Romanians and Bulgarians, it would face pressure from the EU to waive such requirements – or face the imposition of a visa requirement for UK citizens. Even if there is no visa requirement for UK citizens visiting the EU, they would in future be subject to the EU’s planned entry-exit system, which will keep a record of all movements of third-country nationals into and out of EU territory.

Legal Migration  

Those UK citizens who were long-term residents in a Member State (legal residence for more than five years) could apply for long-term resident status under EU law. But as compared to obtaining permanent residence status as an EU citizen, there are more conditions attached to obtaining such status, and fewer benefits. For instance, according to EU immigration law, a long-term resident of a Member State can move to another Member State, but this is subject to much stricter rules than those applying to EU citizens. Also, British citizens would often be subject to ‘integration’ rules, such a requirement to speak the language of the host country, before getting such status. For British pensioners living in the EU, the EU rules which guarantee the receipt (and upgrading) of their British pensions would no longer apply.

Similarly, UK citizens in a Member State who wanted their family members to join them (if those family members were British, or nationals of another third country) would be subject to far stricter family reunion rules than they are now, including possible waiting periods and integration (language) requirements. Those UK citizens who were family members of an EU citizen living in his or her own Member State (ie, a German citizen living in Germany) would be subject to national law only, which is sometimes even stricter (in the Netherlands, for instance). Only those UK citizens who are family members of an EU citizen who has exercised free movement rights (a French citizen in Germany, for instance) would still be able to rely (only indirectly) on EU free movement law.

As for UK citizens who wished to move to, or remain in, an EU Member State, but who do not yet have long-term resident status, they would be subject to possible quotas and EU-preference rules on labour migration. Highly-skilled British professionals could not simply move to another Member State and take up work, but would have to apply for a Blue Card as provided for in EU law, or qualify as an intra-corporate transferee, both possibilities subject to more restrictive rules than for EU citizens. Less skilled workers and self-employed British citizens would be subject entirely to restrictive national laws on their admission (although they would have some limited equality rights under the single permit Directive), unless they were seasonal workers, in which case their residence would be subject to a strict time limit.


There are EU rules on admission of students and researchers, but there would be no requirement to award UK citizens who wanted to study in EU Member States equal treatment as regards tuition fees or admission quotas. British students would have more limited rights to work during their studies, and no right as such to stay on after their completion.


Irregular migration

In principle, according to the EU’s Returns Directive, British citizens who did not, or no longer, had a right to stay in the EU would have to be expelled from the territory, by force if they did not go voluntarily. To facilitate their departure, they could be detained for up to six months, or up to 18 months if there were complications with their removal.

Various other restrictive EU laws would also apply to UK citizens in the EU. So there would be sanctions against employers of irregular British migrants, as well as prosecution of those friends or family who assisted with their unauthorised stay. In accordance with the Returns Directive, most irregular British migrants to the EU would be subject to an entry ban, with their names listed on the Schengen Information System to ensure that no EU Member State lets them back in for up to five years.

Conclusions

Usually, patriots and nationalists are concerned about the plight of their fellow citizens living abroad. One might think this would be particularly the case in the UK, given the large number of British citizens living abroad due to the current forces of globalisation – never mind the country’s colonialist past. Yet it seems more likely that British expatriates in the EU will be, in effect, the eggs that have to be broken to make the omelettes of those British politicians who feel uncomfortable living next to Romanians.

The negative consequences of UK withdrawal from the EU for British expatriates could be avoided, if the UK government of the time were willing to treat EU citizens who were living in (or wanted to come to) the UK generously.

But as noted already, this prospect looks unlikely. It is undoubtedly possible in theory to make a rational and reasonable argument for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (although there are, of course, counter-arguments for staying in). But in recent years, the argument for withdrawal has become increasingly linked with a degree of distaste for, if not loathing of, the citizens of other Member States living in the UK (to say nothing of other expressions of racism, sexism and homophobia).

If it left the EU, the UK would be free to give expression to these views, but there would be consequences for British expatriates remaining in the EU.  The corollary of hearing fewer foreign languages spoken on British trains is that English would be spoken less often in European trains. Taking into account restrictive EU rules on family reunion, access to employment and benefits and detention of third-country nationals, the immigration status of a growing number of British citizens in the EU would be, in Hobbes’ words, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.  

(See also the post on what would happen to EU citizens in the UK after 'Brexit').

Barnard & Peers: chapter 2, chapter 13, chapter 26

184 comments:

  1. A further point on the additional option (suggested by Nigel Farage) of bilateral deals between the UK and other Member States, regarding the status of UK expatriates. This option is both legally and politically problematic. Legally, the EU has adopted a lot of legislation on immigration (meaning, in this context, non-EU citizens), so that will constrain its individual Member States from signing up to deals with the UK. Politically, if even the option is legally possible (from the EU side), it is problematic because the other Member State will expect reciprocity, for instance liberal immigration rules for Spaniards in return for protecting British expats in Spain. And the Member State concerned might raise other issues, ie the Spanish will likely be very angry about the loss of fishing opportunities. But only the EU can sign fishing treaties, so there could not be a UK/Spain deal on that issue. Either way, the UK would have to make concessions on issues (immigration of EU citizens and fisheries) that the opponents of the EU are particularly concerned about.

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    1. The problem with that is the ever lasting tensions with the customs in Gibraltar and other issues, but at the end of the day, it depends on each countries' attitudes towards each other. As a Spaniard I think immediate repatriation of each other's citizens would be desirable before we start any negotiation, but I know it's unlikely to happen.

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    2. You are very correct. Repatriation before any negotiation takes place is unlikely to happen. And then there is the small fact of the referendum itself, which will be held after negotiations between Britain and the EU.

      And you never know. There may just be a "yes" vote, with the majority of British people wanting to remain in the EU. So let's not be so hasty about repatriating people.

      Another point: The referendum bill has yet to pass the House of Commons. It got stuck in all the bickering. It will be brought forward again in the autumn for approval.

      The bill must then pass the House of Lords and I believe that quite a few Lords may be interested in seeing some amendments to the referendum bill. This could delay the matter further if the bill is returned to the Commons......

      There is also a lot of speculation about then exact date of the referendum. Opinions vary widely. It could happen towards the end of next year or even in 2017, irregardless of what is now alleged.

      I believe that many British people were just massacred in Tunisia. Britain may want to continue working with the EU on criminal, terrorism matters. This teamwork would change in the event of a Brexit.

      There is a lot at stake. Also if Britain does leave, it could herald the end of the EU as other countries may also decide to leave.

      There are many people in Northern European countries that would prefer to see the poorer Southern European countries leave.

      Be careful.

      And why would you want repatriation before negotiations? Don't you care about the Spanish people working in the UK? Would you like them forced out of their jobs and homes? Why? What is so desirable about that?

      The tensions in Gibraltar could be just beginning. Why do I suddenly remember the Falkland islands?

      And Spain would lose it's right to fish off the coast of Britain. Why the haste to repatriate? Why not work things out?





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    3. As we are already of part of EU, Why United Kingdom needs to keep Sterling Pounds? Why can't we change to Euros instead, therefore all those people thinking of migrating will have SECOND THOUGHT.
      The only reason most people from Syria, Bangladesh, Iraq, Afghanistan & other European countries want to come to live in the United Kingdom because of money & benefits, but mainly they can send money back to their own country. (Better pay & conversion rate compare to Euros).
      If they do live in the UK, they will NOT adapt to our culture, speak English as their first language, & will keep in their own segregation.

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    4. In fact only the UK gets only a small percentage of the total number of asylum-seekers coming to the EU. The euro doesn't seem to deter the large numbers who would like to go to Germany. God forbid the UK is deluged by Syrians like Steve Jobs...

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  2. There's also a substantial point re the property laws, which in a number of states distinguish between EU nationals and others (which IIRC includes taxation on sale and maybe some other aspects, I'm not an expert by any means.. ).
    So all those houses in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy could all of sudden be a bit different investment that people thought of..

    Fartage is good at presenting simple solutions which don't work. A hallmark of populists down the times. He and Salmond should run workshops on it.

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    1. What I would like to know is when the referendum takes place will expats get a vote .We are UK nationals living in another EU state and should get a vote .If a vote on leaving the EU took place in the host state we would not be eligible .So anyone who is not a UK citizen in the UK will not be able to vote in the UK .As the vote will affect our rights within Europe it is only fair that we also have a voice . Also I am of the opinion that the likes of UKIP should not be permitted to stand for the European parliament as they don't agree with Europe .Should the UK vote to leave the EU that's when the UK will no longer exist it will be little England and no one will bat an eyelid at what England says

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    2. Thanks for your comment. Currently UK law allows British citizens to vote for 15 years after they left the country. The new Conservative government has said that it wants to remove the time limit but it is not clear if this will happen before the EU referendum or not.

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    3. The new law will not take effect before the referendum- or so I have just read. So, no matter what, ex-patriots who have been gone for longer than 15 years will not have a vote in the upcoming referendum.
      The law will be changed after the referendum. Life is not fair.
      I have my disability pension, home and everything in another EU country. What will Britain do with a sick 62 year old who has no place to go in Britain, no income- for I could lose my disability pension (for which I was insured), where I am currently living- if I am forced to leave my current residence. I might lose all my rights here and will have none in Britain. My son is Dutch.
      To correct a grave misunderstanding, British citizens working in other countries might benefit the UK, considering we live in a global world. Like it or not, the world is interconnected. We cannot turn back the clock. We can address challenges, but will only succeed if we can lose the hysterics.
      This whole eurosceptic nationalistic, insular rhetoric is downright scary. And the hatred mind- boggling. Just read some of the comments following a news article. And the hypocrisy?
      Britons say that Europe is not democratic. Well were the British monarchy or House of Lords elected? No.
      I can't help but think that it is popular to find a scapegoat and to keep kicking it. If there is a Brexit, who or what will be the next scapegoat?
      The world is looking pretty fragile. And no one is even mentioning climate change.
      I think the world needs reformation.

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    4. The other problem is UK state pensions. Outside the EU /EE the UK to adopt the state pension non increased with CPI. We would become like Australia with frozen pensions.

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    5. Another reason to convince people to vote "yes" with regards to staying within the EU. Please freeze the pensions. Could be that Australia pays for your pensions, but I would not count on it. Why should they?

      Doesn't Britain want to trade with Australia? Are Common Wealth citizens allowed to vote in the upcoming referendum, while the vote is denied to British citizens who have lived longer than 15 years outside of Britain?

      Tally ho to British justice- British style.

      But wait, oh wait--for the expatriates to return. Tally ho, tally ho. They will have a British vote. No concern for them and their plight? Right on mate, We shall return your lovely compliments. You do not care for us, why should we care for you? Tally ho, tally ho....we are coming.

      Tally ho, tally ho- The British way of doing things. We will mimic your mentality, dear beloved ones.

      Sue Britain for yous loss of income, expatriates. You did not force the British government to join the EU. EU law could become quite interesting since it is interwoven with British laws.

      Adopt the bankers mentality. Tally ho, tally ho. Here we come, waving our British flags and demanding compensation and with a bonus. Tally ho, Tally ho. We are as important as Cameron or the Queen. We are property of the Crown- or did you not know? Can't blame the EU for that one.

      Tally ho, tally ho- like meets like. And then?

      At least some people are beginning to think things through. Great to be a part of. Good luck to us all. We are in fact one world. It is only our thinking that separates us. Like it or not, we need each other. That does not mean exploiting each other- whether it be by unfairly receiving benefits or by slave labour. And by receiving unfair benefits, I also include all those British MP's who have voted for a pay rise for themselves. They do not work on zero hour contracts. But they expect you to?

      Do it of your own free will. I would rather be dead. Tally ho, tally ho. Wait for our return!

      Frozen pensions would be nothing in comparison. And I do not advocate violence. Just cause and effect. Tally ho, tally ho.

      God bless us all.

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  3. As a Spaniard living in the UK, I pity myself and the British expats living in Spain as this chain of events won't end well for either of us.

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    1. Makes one wonder why the hell we couldn't pick German as a second language, doesn't it?

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  4. By the time they sort all this out it will be too late for it to stop the current issues. The gate is already open, the horse has bolted. There is no win in this situation everyone loses.

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  5. One other point that should be included here is that British nationals will need to queue up at airport immigration in the non-EU lanes. My Japanese friends tell me it sometimes takes between 1.5 and 2 hours at large EU airports such as Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Also, non-EU citizens can only stay in the Schengen Zone for 90 days out of every 180. Pensioners who go and spend the Winter in the Canaries will be out of luck since they usually leave around the end of October and return in early to mid April. They will in future have to spend three months in the Canaries and the rest of the time possibly in Morocco or Egypt. Car insurance companies may also refuse to cover British-registered cars even in France. It is currently quite difficult to find a company that will cover non-EU countries (except Switzerland). Most people will only realise their mistake after the exit takes place at which time it will be too late to change their minds.

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    1. I disagree,British people goes abroad for holiday and to spend money,they are a minor that goes to live or work in the EU.So the big loser will be the EU and I completely agree to have our borders controlled because all those Romanians,Bulgarians,Croatia,Polish and all the poor European country comes to the UK to milk from our housing benefits,free Health and pocket money,food bank and so on also they come to steal and messy the country which is an absurd to let it go further.EU is sinking and wants to bring the UK to hell too and it 's not nice they are evil because when these people come here we have to give them everything,vagabonds and thiefs that never have worked in this country and never paid anything.Aside of everything I said we still have to give money to countries that are in financial difficulties such as France and we have to give them 22 Billions to make its economy overcome the bad times and it is ridiculous because they will take from our tax payers so no.UKIP and thanks ! We don't mind people coming to work and pay their taxes ,but those new EU broke countries that wants to suck from us we won't them here.

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    2. In every country, there are more visitors than permanent migrants. On the whole there are roughly as many UK citizens in other Member States as the other way around, as the illustration on this blog post shows. The evidence also clearly shows that EU citizens who come to the UK are, on the whole, significant net contributors to the economy. There is no right to move to the UK or any other Member State just to claim benefits. I don't think the £22 billion figure has any basis in fact.

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    3. Not true on EU benefit claimants. I saw a published report, commissioned by the DWP just before Christmas, that quite clearly stated that there were more UK citizens on the unemployment register, than EU migrants. Also, as jobs have been created in the UK, and unemployment has fallen for over two years. How can EU migrants be taking jobs from UK citizens? Take land workers in the fens. EU migrants do nearly all the picking/harvesting. Why? Because Brits see these jobs as "below them". Brits should stop winging, and work harder. If Brits took these jobs they consider "below them" there would be no jobs for EU migrants. Thus it is self regulating. UKIP? No plan, no policy, no vision. They are good at stimulating division, but have no cohesive strategy to empower British people, support British industry, or embrace the global marketplace. Just blame it on the EU. They should all take a leaf from their leader, and go prop up a bar somewhere. Everything is right, after four pints.

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    4. To: Anonymous, do you think the over 400k retired people living in Spain pay in any way for the Spanish health system resources they use? (because they need it, no problem with that).

      Do you think Spaniards are happy with British pensioners buying houses and keeping up a real estate bubble thanks to their pensions and a strong pound? I don't think they are, but it's OK; being in the EU has other benefits.

      Do you think British residents integrate in any way in Spain? I can tell you they generally don't. The don't learn the language, they tend to live in residential areas "only for British". But that's fine, they're not hurting anybody and I can tell you every single Brit I've met is a nice person.

      UKIP tried very hard to push immigration to front line of the political agenda, and that doesn't benefit anyone. Not even the Brits.

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    5. "do you think the over 400k retired people living in Spain pay in any way for the Spanish health system resources they use?" The U.K. sends to Spain several thousand pounds per year per pensioner to cover health care costs.

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    6. Steve Peers I just read your post about stating a Net figure contribution re immigrants is incorrect. The short fall is 90 million that the
      UK has had to contribute as a shortfall of the Net contribution that migrants cost the UK. This has been a figure that has been well published for quite some time now. The government its self acknowledged this recently due to the concerns of Brits in general!!!

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    7. Then do your utmost to get the message out. I read of a British woman who would vote out, because she only needed a visa to visit Spain. Her vision on the implications of a Brexit was that simplistic.
      The degree of ignorance surrounding the whole EU- there are opt-out options, some EU countries are very difficult about giving benefits etc.
      Above all, let us not lose faith. A lot can happen between now and the referendum. If you want in, use every positive influence you can and get the message out about the benefits of a reformed EU and the drawbacks of a Brexit. The woman mentioned above just might vote to stay in the EU if she knows she has to stand in line for hours at an airport.

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    8. Reply to Anonymous of 26 May: a UCL study showed last year that EU migrants have made a huge contribution to the UK economy: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/1114/051114-economic-impact-EU-immigration Even Nigel Farage has recently admitted that a very small proportion of recent EU migrants are on benefits: https://www.facebook.com/NewEuropeansNews/posts/650853435050859:0

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    9. To anonymous 22 August- your write- "EU is sinking and wants to bring the UK to hell too and it 's not nice they are evil because when these people come here we have to give them everything,vagabonds and thiefs that never have worked in this country and never paid anything."

      My God is all I can think. I read constantly how many of these immigrants do work- so where do you get your biased information from?
      Isn't it alleged that they take jobs from the British? If they take jobs, they are obviously working.....
      And benefits can be denied to EU immigrants if certain criteria are not met. Are you not aware of how other European nations deal with certain problems in this area?

      Have you met all of these vagabonds and thieves (not thiefs) yourself to make such a profound statement? I am reminded of the saying: "It takes one to know one". Where does that put you, my brother or sister?

      It was not so long ago that the United States was considered to be " sinking", with the euro possibly becoming the worlds most important currency. The US did not sink however and seems to be recovering.

      Why on earth would the EU want to "bring the UK to hell too"? What would be the net gain of such a mentality?

      If the UK goes to hell it would not be of much use to the EU, would it? And could you be more specific on your definition of hell? And how sending it to hell would be accomplished? This would need the ratification of all EU member states, for the sending of a EU member state to hell has not been written into any EU treaty. You would need treaty reform to try that one and that might prove difficult, for as long as Britain remains an EU member state, it has the right to veto legislation and has a vote. Post- Brexit, this all changes. Then the EU could very well decide to send holy GB to hell. So you could have a valid point there.

      British MPs will soon be enjoying a self-given pay rise. Some of this will be paid for by immigrants who work in Britain and pay taxes. Seems odd to have such drastic cutbacks to defense and social security while giving yourself a pay rise.

      In the event of a Brexit, enjoy the chaos of Scotland wanting to leave the holy UK (it will go to heaven) and the renewed tensions that could very well arise again within Northern Ireland. Don't expect too many concessions from the "evil EU" on trade deals post-Brexit. There are other markets. The knife cuts on both sides. (Dutch expression).

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    10. ´The degree of ignorance surrounding the whole EU-´

      it is frightening- the public are just soaking up the deliberate misinformation spread by the anti-EU press without considering if they are being told the truth- look at Boris Johnson´s grilling by the Treasury select committee to see how much misinformation this figurehead spews out wihout any attempt to be accurate.

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  6. British expats (and non-expats) currently enjoy whatever rights go with EU citizenship. I'd like to think to that these cannot be merely removed by the decision of the Member State to which we happen to belong.
    Presumably this wishful thinking has no legal basis?

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    1. That is a very difficult issue since you can not take citizenship away from somone however EU citizenship is attached to National Citizenship of Countries which are member states so if the UK decides to leave UK Citizenship has nothing todo with EU one and since there is no independent EU citizenship you will not be able to keep it! So if you leave you loose all the rights attached to EU citizenship!

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    2. Thanks for your comment. I think you are quite correct, that follows from the very nature of EU citizenship.

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    3. For the expats you can always apply for the adopted country's passport since many countries allow double nationality with the UK. Yes, maybe learning German at age 67 is not ideal, but hey, at least it is an easier solution that what Germans in the UK may get if the climate of hostility continues.

      As for workers...why would they retain them? Do British citizens working in America get a similar deal?

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    4. What kind of a country has Britain become? You write: "at least it is an easier solution than what Germans in the UK may get if the climate of hostility continues". Hostility leads to hate crimes. Those who commit them will find themselves behind British bars, put there by British judges. And there might be no human rights act to protect your rights.

      Then we have the lefties hating the righties and vice versa. The SNP wanting to leave the UK. There is viscous infighting within the Tory Party and a keen desire by some Tories to see Cameron fall. Let's not forget dear Boris swearing on a London Street telling a taxi driver to f.,, off and die. Great leaders! All British too. Not an immigrant in sight.

      America is not part of the EU. So British citizens do not get a similar deal. But all EU countries do have "similar deals" for EU citizens. You cannot compare the two.

      As for workers, why should you get rid of them when you are too lazy to lay your own bricks and build your own buildings? Where are the British bricklayers?

      As for the expatriates, they may go to Australia, Canada or New Zealand- more friendly countries, or adopt the nationality of the EU country where they are living.

      Lose your hostility. Let us work together. You might miss the German car factories when they leave the UK. Dutch Shell has bought British BP.

      It will take several years to negotiate post Brexit changes. You may regret a no vote, but you will be too late.







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  7. It will be interesting what happens in complex cases like mine: Dutch National, British wife, Children and grandchildren in UK. Will we need visas for family occasions? Doesn't bear thinking about!

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    1. I agree. What will happen to EU citizens here in the UK?

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    2. There's a separate blog post by Helena Wray on this issue: http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/what-would-happen-to-eu-nationals.html

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  8. Hi Sinistral and lasancmt, thanks for your comments. Legally the consequence of withdrawal would necessarily be that British citizens are not EU citizens any longer, unless they can obtain or retain dual nationality of an EU Member State, Any British expats in the rest of the EU, or British citizens who might want to move to another Member State in future, had better think about getting the nationality of another Member State if that's possible for them.

    As for visas for Dutch citizens to visit the UK, it may be that the UK would like to reimpose visa requirements on some less wealthy Member States like Romania, in which case the EU as a whole might require visas for UK citizens. It seems unlikely that the UK would require visas for all Member States though.

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  9. Well the good news for the Brits in Ireland is that they are covered by earlier legislation and as a part of the common travel area, don't need to worry about this.

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    1. I know the common travel area legislation would have to be scraped by Ireland, as Ireland being a EU state wont have much of a say on EU laws on borders if the UK leaves the EU, plus the UK would not want an open back door to the EU as Ireland's border would also become an EU frontier border closed for passport and tariff controls for people and goods with NI/UK, also Ireland would have to follow EU states like Spain with Gibraltars border and Calais France with the Chanel tunnel as this would be EU law, the only way would be for British expats if they have lived in the EU for more than five years as residents or get the blue card visas for non EU citizens, but this will affect EU expats including the Irish and not including the northern Irish living in the UK as for pensions and welfare may no longer be transferable between non EU states as UK would be and EU including Ireland, the only other way for the UK leaving the EU is by joining the EEA like Norway but with no or little say on EU affairs.

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    2. I agree with Mark. The EU has alsways an unified decision towards Non-EU countries take for example the visa issue between north america and some EU countries. So once UK is out of the EU then the states will have a unified decision on that.

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    3. Mark & Erlin, did you forget about the opt-in/out possibilities that exist for Ireland and the UK under Title V of the TFEU?

      Please correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I understand I believe that immigration is a shared competence of the EU and the Member States, and thus the Member States can only legislate on immigration matters as long as the EU has not legislated. This rule also extends to external competences and thus the conclusion of international agreements with non-EU states.
      However, since Ireland (and the UK) is not bound by EU legislation adopted under Title V unless it opts in, then Ireland will still have the competence to maintain its Common Travel Area with the UK as long as it ensures that it has opted out of the relevant EU directives/regulations.

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    4. You are right, Jonathan, Ireland is not part of Schengen and does not apply much EU immigration or asylum law so the Common Travel Area should not be jeopardised on those grounds. But I wonder if there might be an issue as regards free movement of EU citizens, which would continue to apply to Ireland after Brexit, but not to the UK unless it is part of the EEA. In that case the Common Travel Area really would be a back door to the UK as far as EU citizens were concerned.

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    5. Yeah the UK would try to close that open door! But I honestly can not see the Border being open given that there would be a variety of issues for instance Britian would leave the Customs Union and Ireland would still be in it! Similarilly this would also make it impossible for the UK to start a visa regime against some EU members because Ireland(as part of the CTA) could not impose any visas on EU members. Also you completly forgot in your aticle that Brits will possibly loose their right to public healthcare in some member states and tourists will no longer be covered by EHIC!

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    6. The word is 'lose', not 'loose'.

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  10. Seems like the only answer is to take out Scottish nationality ASAP (presumably this will be easy enough to do) and then encourage Salmond to join/re-join Europe. Och aye.

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    1. Scotland would still need to stand on his own for about three years with a small debt. Not impossible, but certainly hard.

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  11. The UK would have to be crazy to leave the Union. It would have years of bureaucratic wrangles and complications upon complications to come. All British citizens would be negatively affected one way or another. The bureaucracy is mind boggling.

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  12. would this also mean that any citizen from any other EU state, and outside the EU would also be denied the benefits that go with living in Britain. As Brits living outside Britain, seemingly would loose their rights of pension and medical treatment, provided (and paid for) by the Ex pats.

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    1. A legal contract to pay workers a British State Pension is in force. If you have worked 30 years and have paid insurance stamps to Government then it must reflect that it will be honored where ever you are. Can you imagine six million ex pats taking the Government to court on case of fraud if not paid with pensions because Cameron or anyone else says they want out of EU. Then the other thing is will the chosen nation you are living in chuck you out? Not if you have their permission to reside and have paid their charges to five year residence how can they? Do not worry as spear rattling in politics does not mean Britain has any intention of leaving EU. If and when we have the right of legal matters as explained.I hope this helps you all relax.

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    2. The UK does not usually uprate pensions for inflation when they are paid abroad, and the European Court of Human Rights has said this is not a breach of human rights. EU law requires the UK to uprate pensions for UK citizens (or other EU citizens who are entitled to such benefits) in other Member States. If the UK leaves the EU that obligation would not apply and so the usual rule of not uprating pensions takes effect, unless the UK decides otherwise or enters into a commitment with the EU or individual Member States to do so. As for expelling people, no one is saying that all UK citizens would be thrown out, but the position of some of them is likely to be more legally precarious than at present.

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    3. I signed a contact with HM Government in 1967 saying in words recorded that if I honored the agreement with them and they to did their bit at my retirement age no matter where I lived they would pay me what was the current rate at that time and called The State Pension with all increments and changes that affect this pension at that time. I lost £70k of potential Pension Credits as Ieft UK aged 62 unaware of the system. I had lost my job three weeks before and did not want to sign on. Besides I had far more in savings than able to claim. My wife is German and said no more we leave now. We came to build a house next to the sea near where she was born. She is happy now that is my job done. The Pension is sacred property and cannot be stopped or it is fraud.By the true wording all increase must be also paid so clearly I do not agree with what you say on this singular subject.No matter what happens, and Britain would be suicidal to back out of EU now, that State Pension all all rises must be paid to me. Any little fraud they fiddle will haunt them as long as they live. I will receive my pension soon as I am 65 now. We will see what comes of this but I will be the winner as all the proof is ready for court in Brussels and the Haig if a fight is what is required of me my army training deals well with such and nonsense as fraud of any kind should be.

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    4. As I said, the UK does not normally uprate pensions for inflation when paid abroad. The government would argue that this was not part of the contract with future pensioners (indeed most governments don't treat state pensions as contracts at all). In the event of Brexit they will only be uprated for UK citizens paid abroad if the UK and EU agree to this, otherwise if the UK chooses to do so unilaterally (I doubt that it would).

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  13. there are too many treaties to unpick, anyone talking about the UK leaving the EU is all huff and bluster. Cameron pulls it out every now and then as a distraction.

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    1. It would destroy UK. We would be Frances plaything at the ports with paperwork, delays, pet control, import taxes on demand. All the currency exchange people would have a field day playing UK off against EU even more than they do today. Everyone would need health cover whilst abroad again.

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  14. Was it this complicated when britain joined the EU? Were there negative consequences? Was there a substantial faction who did not want to join?

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  15. Each new immigrant not only supplies one job's worth of labour, but also demands approximately one job's worth of goods, services, and infrastructure. The jobs created by supplying the latter approximately balance the jobs

    Canada work permit

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  16. Just a small example: If all the immigrant's would leave the city where i'm leaving at, it would become a ghost town, like it was 15 years ago or so..... And then what about all those businesses generated by the increase of people in the past few years???? All the job's those businesses provided???? etc etc etc???

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    1. You can rellocate the British expats who had been forced to return due to an increase in precarity of the standards of living in their countries of adoption after the UK government decided to expell all the counties' expats from the island while calling them parasites...it's bleak but at least is an idea

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    2. British expats have a free will and may decide to live where they want- which may not be in a ghost town.
      And why would Britain want a town full of "parasites"?
      It gets crazier by the minute.

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    3. i think that the persons that replied before me didn't understand your comment.
      YES . the city will become abandoned , for exemple , if they will send back in Romania 50.000 romanians , at least 25.000 houses would become empty .. and 50.000 landlords would lose money... 50.000 less breads sold every day so a few bakeries would bankrupt.. and everything that this people have spent their money on staying here in the U.k
      but in a few years it will be as in the beginning because that jobs and houses that were occupied by rumanian would be filed in by AFRICANS AND PAKISTAN AND INDIA AND CHINA PEOPLE.. YOU WILL STILL HAVE IMMIGRANTS BUT YOU WIL NOT HAVE THE BENEFITS FROM BEING AN EU STATE.
      BECAUSE NEVER AND NEVER THAT JOBS WILL BE FILLED IN BY BRIT CITIZENS . or Farage's sons and grandsons will work in agriculture , constructions and cleaning services ?

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  17. I believe the BIG issue is not about immigrants and immigration as such, it is about the ability of aforesaid to claim benefits without having contributed. . Because of this, it has been easy to pull the immigration topic into the 'bad thing' Deal with the benefits issues alone and I believe the immigration problems would resolve themselves.

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    1. That is so true, why can't our government see this themselves!

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    2. Should also apply to free NHS healthcare over and above the EHIC card rights (Accident & Emergencies) for visitors - If I leave the country I take out Insurance - Why not make it compulsory for all inbound immigrants to the UK to have to have Insurance Cover until they have resided in and worked in the UK for say 5 years ? It would relieve the financial strain the NHS is experiencing and probably put off a few of those contemplating entry into the UK.

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    3. Benefits isn't the issue either. As an EU national you have the same rights to benefits most of the time just as a native there if you are a resident, Brits get their benefits here in Finland, we aren't complaining about that (at least not on UK level).
      I believe the UK cannot sustain itself without it's EU workforce. Most of the small business owners and skilled workers there are already foreigners and they work for cheap. If the UK drops out of the EU it will lack that cheap labour. Brits will most certainly not go and do the dirty jobs the immigrants do, your whole system would colapse and I am not starting about taxes for import and export yet.

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    4. In France you can only claim family benefits (like child benefit) and join the health system if you are legally resident or working. To be legally resident without working, you have to have sufficient income to support your family. The level of income required is that below which you would be entitled to income support benefits (RSA). Only after five years of legal residence do you have the same rights as a native.

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  18. What do you mean "deal with the benefits issues". Stop the benefits? How woypuld that "resolve" the immigrationissues? I don'tbthink they'd stop coming. It's apparently impossible to end benefits either in england or the US. In addition, if a baby is born in the US it's automatically considered a citizen, so it gets all the benefits any citizen is entitled to, even if the parents are here illegally, and the baby's benefits can't be rescinded. If immigrant's benefits are cut off, there would be a large number of homeless people living on the streets with all that might entail, in England as well as here. I don't know what a workable answer might be.

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    1. I was once duped into employing an Albanian girl in the UK who somehow had Polish documents..... within a month she was pregnant registered her child as British and went on to claim benefits .... even had the cheek to say to me that she "Loved the UK....... easy money" she said

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    2. It's always possible to refuse people EU law rights if they have committed fraud about their identity and nationality. Simply having a child in the UK does not confer British citizenship or a right of residence on the child or parent.

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    3. In the Netherlands, committing fraud will get an EU immigrant deported. What this woman did would not be accepted here. Providing false documents is reason enough for prosecution and deportation.
      So why did you not report this woman, anonymous?
      You could have done something about it, instead of complain about it on a forum.
      It would have been a concrete step and might have provided a disincentive to lie, deceive and then receive benefits to other like-minded persons- some of whom are also British.
      But they can only be prosecuted, not deported. Still....

      In the Netherlands, benefits gained in this manner must be repaid and there is an additional fine.
      So....???

      There is a huge section on the Dutch residency permit form asking if you have ever been accused of committing fraud.

      Please stop blaming the EU for the inability of the British system to deal with some of it's problems.

      Instead of bashing the EU- look to how some member states deal with their challenges. And they in turn may learn something from Britain.

      Merkel reported recently that an immigrant took her court case about not receiving benefits in Germany, all the way to the EU court....and wait for it....the immigrant lost her case.
      The EU court upheld the verdict of the German court. Benefits were denied to this immigrant.
      Amazing grace.

      In short, there is no need for a Brexit because of the abuse of the system. Stop the abuse, but while you are focused on immigrants, please also remember all those little baby corpses found in Northern Ireland recently.
      Their deaths were covered up by UK government and UK church officials. All of whom were full blooded Britons. Not a Pole or immigrant in sight.
      Anyone go to jail yet?

      Food for thought?

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  19. Certainly benefits can be stopped in practice, otherwise my family would still be receiving child benefit! I don't think we can conclusively assume what the effect of restricting benefits would be without researching the issue. And as far as I know, no Member State gives its nationality now to all children born on the territory.

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    1. France does. My son was born in France to British parents and will automatically receive French Nationality when he reaches eighteen. He can apply for it before then but it's automatic at eighteen. He would have to refuse it if he didn't want it.

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  20. Having read the above article I agree with many of the comments and one in particular, this is not going to end well for anyone! However there seems to be a hijacking going on as the real issue for most brits is not belonging or not to the EU but is having a sensible approach to the movement of people being in control of our own laws and about identity and way of life, against loss of sovereignty and the EU super state on the other. The UK should be in the EU and we should trade openly and freely but I for one don’t want the UK to become submerged in the EU amorphous mess. Free movement of people is one thing being a soft touch for hand-outs and having to comply with an ever increasing load of restrictions and requirements that detract from our way of life is another. When we signed up for a trade agreement there were 8 member states, there are now 28 and more to come. The relationship needs to change for all members and take greater account of the individual member countries wishes. I suppose a union of nations, not a federal nation is what I believe we should be aiming for. No doubt things will progress and the politicians will make a fist of it as usual! The one thing that Brussels needs to remember is we will not accept being told what to do, we may whinge and whine then ignore what is happening for a while, but only up to a tipping point then we can be more stubborn than most. Judging the general mood for average folk that tipping point has been reached hence the protest votes for UKIP, not a viable party for government, we all know that and Farage is a joke as a leader of a country but he is appealing to an as yet silent and growing group of people. Dangerous times.

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  21. All this talk of pulling out of the EU is very disconcerting for one that has recently bought a retirement home in France and is married to a Chinese citizen. If we all lose our right to live in Europe there would be a property crash second to none that would destroy economies throughout Europe and likely in the UK too. It's so annoying that our politicians make decisions based upon who will vote for them next time rather than what's best for the country and it's average Joe that has to suck the mop and pay the price for such biased decisions. Ah well, we can always go to live in China, maybe Shangrilah, as it's in the south & nicely warm all year.

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  22. I didn't realize that Shangrila had been so preisely located. ;) i will check itout!

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  23. I asked before, but it seems my comment was lost...is there any chance that a future blog post might look specifically at the Common Travel Area in the event of a UK exit from the EU without an agreement? Because from my perspective it seems that the CTA would still exist (as it is separate from EU laws and already incorporates non-EU territories like the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands...similar to how the Hoyvik Agreement allows for the free movement of persons between EEA Ireland and non-EEA Faroe Islands without the EU/EEA raising any objections) and British citizens would still be able to freely move to Ireland if they so chose. Hence the 322,000+ British expatriates in Ireland would probably have nothing to worry about really if the UK left......

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    1. I don't know if there will be a blog post specifically on what happens to the Common Travel Area after Brexit. But logically as you say, t could remain, for the simple reason that Ireland is not part of the Schengen zone. Also, since Ireland does not apply most other EU immigration law concerning non-EU citizens, it would be free, as long as it wished, to allow free movement of British citizens to Ireland. But Brexit would take away the legal security that Irish citizens will be free to live in the UK, and vice versa. It would be up to either government to revise their national law and make it more restrictive (as compared to EU free movement law) with a view to preserving more jobs for British or Irish citizens, expelling or refusing entry for less serious offences, limiting access to benefits, and limiting rights of non-British or Irish family members to come in. Also there are important practical questions like social security coordination and recognition of qualifications that would have to be addressed either by a UK/Ireland or a UK/EU agreement. Again it can't be guaranteed that the current rules on these issues would remain in force, so things like pensions, or the ability to work as a teacher, doctor or lawyer etc could be impacted.

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    2. Interesting.

      But I don't see why Brexit would remove the legal security that Irish citizens will be free to live in the UK. Because if I am not mistaken Irish citizens are automatically considered as having "settled status" or indefinite leave to remain: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/118569/immigration-right-of-abode.pdf

      Basically as far as I can tell, Irish citizens have the legal security under the 1971 Immigration Act (section 1(3) which excludes the Republic of Ireland (and the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) from immigration controls under that Act) and 1981 British Nationality Act (section 50(2) which defines a person as being settled in the United Kingdom if he (or she) is not subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period for which he or she may remain, and is ordinarily resident in the UK). Hence as Irish citizens arriving from Ireland are not subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period in which they may stay in the UK as a result of the 1971 legislation (though arriving from elsewhere they would be subject to immigration control as per the 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act), then (as the original government policy paper in the first link outlines) they are automatically considered as having indefinite leave to remain unless there is clear evidence to the contrary (such as a statement that the Irish citizen was on a short visit to the UK or evidence was offered of long periods of residence outside of the UK). And this has been the case from before the UK and Ireland joined the European Community in 1973. The British government would have to amend either the 1971 Act or 1981 Act to remove this legal security wouldn't they?

      And vice versa, UK nationals (from the UK itself and from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) are legally exempt from immigration controls under exemption orders to the 1935 Aliens Act since 1935 (including the latest exemption order in 1999). It would need for the Irish government to change the immigration procedures, those exemption orders and the Aliens Order 1946 and the 1985 Electoral Amendment Act to remove the rights of British citizens in Ireland.

      There wouldn't be a treaty guarantee as is the current case with the EU free movement rules, but it's hard to envision how an informal arrangement that has been in place since 1923 (though suspended between 1939 and 1952) and is based on legislation (1946 Aliens Order, 1999 Aliens Exemption Order, 1971 Immigration Act, 1981 British Nationality Act, British-Irish Agreement resulting from the Good Friday Agreement) would be in serious jeopardy if Brexit occurred without a UK/Ireland agreement.

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    3. My point is that Irish citizens would lose the legal security they now have as a matter of EU law. It would be open to the UK Parliament to amend the legislation you mention. Remember that Nigel Farage's campaign manager wants to expel every EU citizen from the UK. Although presumably Nigel's wife would be exempt.

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    4. Oh okay,I understand. Though I suppose the only real way to keep the legal security even as a matter of EU law would be for the UK to adopt a written constitution and have the European Communities Act for a part of that constitution for which a special majority (66% or more) and a referendum would be needed to repeal it. As it stands now, if 50%+1 of the MPs vote for it they can repeal the European Communities Act and all related legislation (which would have the legal effect of invoking Article 50 on withdrawal I think but would be a right proper legal nightmare) without referring the matter to the British public who would be directly affected by such a move. There is a legal requirement to have a referendum in the event of a transfer of more powers to the EU, but no iron-clad legal requirement to have a referendum on leaving the EU.....which seems a bit unfair really.

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    5. After Brexit Ireland's Schengen opt-out would terminate automatically... but that could be fudged.

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    6. Ireland's Schengen opt-out would not terminate automatically in the event of Brexit. It's set out in a Protocol to the Treaties and the usual process of Treaty amendment would apply if it were to be repealed.

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  24. I wonder if Mr Cameron has considered the fact that all expat Brits have the right to vote in a UK election ? 2.5 million worried expats comprise a considerable section of the voting public and although I know of a very few rather dim expats who advocate exit, the bulk have enough basic common to vote for any party who will stay in the EU - i.e. Labour. Granted that Mr Milliband is not a terribly impressive figure, he's only one man and who cares what he looks/sounds like ? Actions speak louder than words and you have to pity him, in a way; he can't help being who he is and may, if elected, turn out to be rather a good PM.

    Certainly, the present craven behavior of Beloved Leader in bowing to the pressure of the so-called Eurosceptics (aka dinosaurs) and UKIP (BNP by another name) is sickening and humiliating. I'm not surprised he is so roundly despised by the rest of the EU.

    But be of good heart, this promised referendum is due in 2017 if Cameron is reelected and he can't get some sort of deal from Brussels. The first is unlikely and the second, therefore, unnecessary and, in any case, who says the EuroSceptics would win the referendum ? Vide the Scottish vote which was supposed to be too close to call but the gap was actually satisfactorily wide. And consider that even if the Tories get back in and there is a referendum and it goes the Eurosceptics way, the government will almost certainly be another coalition and the Lib Dems will fight tooth and nail to say in - in some form or other.

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    1. Indeed, I think even if the referendum occurs and we see a vote in favour of exit then the withdrawal negotiations would see the Lib Dems, Labour and the less Eurosceptic Tories supporting UK membership of the EFTA in order to re-join the EEA and also for the UK to join the EU customs union like Turkey. At that point the UK would no longer officially be in the EU but it would still have access to the EU internal market and have free movement of goods in the customs union. UKIP would probably bang on about it, but the Tories can then go back to the public and say "see! We aren't in the EU anymore and are free to make our own trade policy* while still having access to the internal market! No more CAP! No more CFP! etc"

      * within the limits allowed by the customs union agreement

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    2. A customs union doesn't leave much room for a separate trade policy, and free movement of goods would be secured as an EEA member. But I can't see the post-Brexit UK joining the EEA as it stands, since it includes the free movement of people.

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    3. Actually, not all ex-pats have the right to vote in UK elections! Those of us who have (had the misfortune to have) lived abroad for more than 15 years cannot vote. And if I could, I would back the UK lmeaving the whole sorry EU scene.

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    4. Steve Peers, most expat Brits have no rights to vote in ANY national parliamentary elections, nor in national referenda. This deprivation of rights is specifically endorsed by the European Human Rights Convention. The right to vote in EU parliamentary elections is essentially useless, as no mainstream parties attempt to canvas expat voters. The word "expat" itself is totally inappropriate as it carries connotations totally different from those of "average" citizens. Have you ever heard J.K.Rowling describe herself as an "expat" in her Spanish period?

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    5. Leonora, the term 'expat' is in common use, as you can see from comments on this blog. Every day it is used as a search term to find this particular blog post. UK citizens can vote in general elections for up to 15 years after they have left the country; I don't know whether that covers a majority of them or not. It's the European Court of Human Rights, not the Convention itself, which has accepted the UK law. Voting in European Parliament elections is a different kettle of fish anyway, since any UK citizens living in other EU countries would have the right to vote in those countries in those elections.

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  25. does anyone know an expat website where UK-expats are exchanging ideas?

    I have written to an MP and been told that no vote will be given to Brits abroad if they don't already hold voting rights. Some expats are being totally disenfranchised from democracy.

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    1. I believe you can keep your UK voting rights for 15 years when you live abroad.

      https://www.gov.uk/voting-when-abroad

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  26. What will Brits do if there health cover is by way of the E121?

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  27. The fate of the E121 will depend on whether there is an agreement between the UK and rest of the EU post-Brexit. If not, then EU and national immigration law would require UK citizens to pay for health insurance to the same extent as other third-country nationals.

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    1. Hi Steve I have just read your reply above & it is this matter that concerns me the most. My wife & I have lived in Cyprus for 24 years now & have a permanent visitor residents visa. When Cyprus joined the EU, the main benefit us expats pensioners experienced was free National Health treatment as we would have done in the UK. This has proved invaluable as my wife has now got heart problems & rheumatoid arthritis & I have just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. This means that we both require medicines & treatment which we get from the government hospital for free (small charge now tho). This is done on a reciprical agreement between UK & Cyprus. If the UK withdraw from EU & the E121 is no longer valid, what happens to us? There is no way we could afford private medical care & in any case we would not be able to get cover with our medical history. Would there be some sort of local goverment health insurance scheme which would be means tested for pensioners like us? I know a number of expats over here are very concerned about this, so any information you could give me on this matter would be very helpful.

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    2. Hi Warwick, sorry to hear about your illness (and your wife's). Hopefully there would be an agreement in the event of Brexit between the UK and the EU and/or separate Member Stats to maintain health cover in its current form. However this might be difficult as it would presumably have to be reciprocal and there are concerns about 'health tourism' in the UK as regards visitors There might be, at the very least, agreement to cover those who have moved already before Brexit, like yourselves, but this is not guaranteed.

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  28. I wonder what would happen to the degree of EU citizens who studied in the UK before its withdrawal ? Take for example a french national who gained a medical degree in the UK and came back to France to work. Would he still be able to get his degree recognized?

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    1. It would depend on whether the UK did an agreement with the remaining EU on this issue. (Probably there would have to be a deal with the whole EU, not individual Member States, since the EU has extensively harmonised the law on this subject). The point is also important for UK citizens who got degrees etc from other Member States, or who got a degree from the UK and still live in other Member States, and for French or other EU citizens who are still in the UK (even if their degree was from their home country).

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    2. Hello Steve, thank you for all your research and work.

      It is now 30 May, 2015 and a lot of the above comments are no longer quite so relevant because we now have the election results, although some comments are even more relevant as a Brexit looms above us all.

      But..

      Cameron is now making his European rounds. Fact.
      He had a good meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Rutte and the Dutch, for the moment, want the UK in.
      Dutch elections are next year.

      German Chancellor Merkel now appears to be willing to negotiate about changes without needing treaty changes and recognizes some of the problems with immigrants. She faces resistance on immigration in her own country too- with some hateful riots in the past.

      Treaty change is no longer taboo for the Germans, according to a news report from yesterday. So, doors are opening....
      Good development!

      I believe that it is possible to have a two -speed Europe and that Cameron will be able to get a lot of what he wants in order to get a yes vote.

      The EU is not benefited by a Brexit, but neither is Britain, particularly with the Greek financial problem, global economic instability- no matter how the markets are doing..... and with Putin poised on the horizon.

      There has been the formation of BRIC- a formal alliance (trade and financial) between Brazil, Russia, India and China. I hear they want their own IMF financial system. Could be that they are not that interested in trading with Britain. India- an emerging market- is in an alliance with Russia and China.

      On the other hand I read yesterday that Norway has overtaken Russia with gas production. Could be a reason not to turn your back on Europe.

      Nato is holding military exercises, and therefore Putin has decided to join in the fun.
      Russia and China hold joint military exercises.
      They look pretty impressive together.
      China has warned the USA not to interfere with the Japanese Island question.
      The USA is broke.
      The global financial system is as corrupt as FIFA and still no change is in sight.
      It is not a question if another recession will hit, it is a question when it will hit.

      Uncertainty is not good for business, jobs, homes, relationships- it causes stress and uncertainty. Affects children...even pets. Affects consumerism- is bad for the economy. Affects health- puts an additional strain on the NHS. Add it all up.

      Who will be the next American president? Will Brexit be a major discussion point during the upcoming US presidential campaign?

      Iraq is a bloody mess. Literally. IS is a force that has been seriously underestimated and seems to be gaining ground. The Taliband are retaking Afghanistan.

      I think we might need each other now and in the future.




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    3. Or maybe it's time for it to reach critical mass. We may suffer hunger, war, and deprivations but our grandchildren may enjoy a better life.

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    4. Then help reach the critical mass. I believe it is possible.

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    5. I meant reach a critical mass of well informed people who will look at the largely unknown consequences of a Brexit and examine carefully a yes or no vote- and much more.

      A recent climate report is out- not giving humanity or life on earth that much time. Many species are dieing out.It is debatable what kind of future our children will have, If they have one.

      We are seeing record breaking temperatures at this very moment.

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  29. I live in Nice in the South of France . Even though are English newspapers radio and forums I have never heard any talk about the right of UK citizens to vote in any upcoming referendum however they do write to there former MPs about the right to the winter fuel allowance and many like to say that if they had a vote it would be for UKIP. Myself I have a UK and an Irish passport.

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    1. If there is a Brexit referendum and it follows the same voting rules as for the general election, then all those who have lived outside the UK for less than 15 years can vote. As for the winter fuel allowance, in the event of Brexit the UK government could withdraw it from British expats living in colder countries, not just warmer ones. And there would be less legal security re British expats' immigration status, non-discrimination in tax, uprating of pensions and more besides.

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    2. Dear fellow British citizen still living on the same planet (I object to the term 'expat'), VOTE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION!!
      In 2010 we could not vote, as we were registered for postal voting and our papers only arrived after the election day. We tried everything - the Electoral Commission, the local returning officer, our MP, the press. Nothing could be done. Once you register for postal voting, you are trapped: only a postal vote will be allowed. Thousands of people abroad on election day, including soldiers serving in Afghanistan, were deprived of the vote - i.e., thousands were disenfranchised: which was a disgrace. Don't let this happen again - do your utmost to vote.
      YOU CAN VOTE IN PERSON. This time, after being told by the Electoral Commission and a junior in the local authority that we cannot vote in person 'because we are overseas voters', we have finally discovered that we CAN come to the UK and vote at our polling station in person. We are leaving nothing to chance. We are lucky to be only a train-ride away, of course. Those more distant should push and press for their papers, and insist that they are posted in time, with a big enough stamp (hmrc letters currently take three weeks to Paris). PLEASE USE YOUR VOTE, it is very important, before the government takes away all our rights, and cuts even more than the fuel supplement.

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    3. Why vote when you don't live here? I have been living here for 11 years paying tax and am not allowed to vote because I am foreign!!! Very discriminating!! And as far as the exit is concerned, I rather move back to where I came from than forking out nearly a grand to become a british citizen!! I know more English people not paying their way than foreign!! Blaming foreign people or people of different belief for things that go wrong in the country was already done by Hitler!! So people clearly haven't learnt a lesson, so stop banging in about the 2nd World War!!!

      Delete
    4. Please anonymous from 8 May- there is enough poison out there- don't feed it. Please find a heart.... I do understand your feelings. So know you have been heard.
      Try to find a positive way to influence a referendum outcome that helps you and others, even though you cannot vote. Your fury will solve nothing. It only makes matters worse. My fear will not keep me in an EU country if a Brexit occurs.

      You are foreign and are not allowed to vote? I am foreign and have been living for 35 years in Europe and I am not allowed to vote either.

      Blaming foreign people is a really cheap way to find an outlet for the rage of a national people.

      Let the woman come to vote. Her vote could be your protection. Who knows.

      Will some ex-patriots go to the trouble to vote to stay in the EU for me? I have a European son whom I adore and don''t want to be homeless and hungry in England.

      Shall we stand together, whether or not we can vote? Encourage others to vote to stay in the EU. I have no idea where you come from, but your own country could be damaged by a Brexit. Have you considered this too? Good luck.

      Some people never learn a lesson, so others must work constructively together to prevent further damage.


      Delete
  30. Can't we just be EU Citizens?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is the European Parliment in London? If not then no.

      Delete
    2. No one is an EU citizen. EU citizenship does not exist.

      Below you might find information that is more relevant than where the EU parliament is situated.

      "12 jun. 2015 - The ratings agency Standard and Poor (S&P) has cut its outlook for the UK economy because of a planned referendum on EU membership."

      and

      "The prospect of Britain leaving the European Union could cause more damage to the country’s credit rating than uncertainty over the outcome of May’s General Election, Moody’s warned yesterday."

      I don't think that Moody or S&P care if the European Parliament is in London. Neither does Goldman Sachs.
      "Goldman Sachs president warns against Brexit - Politics Home"

      And in London-

      Labour backed the EU referendum bill at its second reading on Tuesday, but it is understood that party members are submitting a new amendment requiring the economic impact report.
      Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn said yesterday it is “vital” that a “thorough assessment” is carried out."

      “The Bank of England and the Office for Budget Responsibility are independent bodies that have a mandate to look at the economy and public finances, and they would be best placed to carry out this work,” Benn said.The British public deserve to be fully informed about how any alternative arrangements with Europe might work in practice and about any risks to jobs and apprenticeships, economic growth and our ability to attract foreign investment into businesses in Britain,” he added."

      Also...

      "In the event of a No vote, a country can withdraw from the EU two years after notifying the European Council of its intention to leave. However, leaving would still involve "complex and probably lengthy negotiations", a Parliamentary briefing paper concluded. Talks would be held on the future of the UK's relationship with the EU, including whether it could still have access to the single market. Resolving all this could take some time."

      Last but not least...

      Last modified on Monday 11 May 2015 00.00 BST

      "Economists forecast that eurozone GDP growth will come in at 0.5% for the first quarter. That would be the fastest expansion since the start of 2011. If confirmed, that solid pace of expansion for the eurozone would upset a pattern that has seen the UK outperform other leading economies. UK growth for the first quarter came in at just 0.3%, half the pace of the 0.6% it recorded in the closing months of 2014."

      I wonder if the EU would allow the UK to have access to the single market in the event of a Brexit? Now that could be something to think about. They could demand that citizens remain in the countries where they are currently living in return for access to the single market.

      How much money is this referendum costing the UK taxpayer?









      Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn said yesterday it is “vital” that a “thorough assessment” is carried out.

      Delete
    3. Legally there is clearly a citizenship of the Union. But it is based solely on nationality of a Member State, so does not have any autonomous legal existence.

      Delete
  31. Uk in or out. EU don't care. EU is not perfect but it is and will be the greatest union. EU don't want crying babies such as uk.. So get out.... Be a lonely island God bless the EU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, but the EU does care. So does the United States. So do many international businesses. So do many local British businesses. Poland would lose all potential for their citizens to work in Britain. Poland cares. Germany would be more dependent on France. Germany cares. The Netherlands is worried and with good cause because they export a lot to GB. They care.

      And whether or not the EU becomes the "greatest union" in the future depends on other factors- like Russia- Greece leaving and then Britain?
      Not much union left there. Others might follow. Ever heard of Le Pen or Wilders? They all are up for election in their respective countries (2016, 2017) soon and both want out of the EU. They have large followings.

      And consider for a moment that you and your country may just need this lonely island in the future. Who knows? Not everyone there is a cry baby.

      God Bless humanity.

      Delete
  32. Would the EU treat Britons well if the UK treated Europeans badly? Not a chance.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I would like to know I am an EU citizen (Portugal Nationality) , but my husband n son is both British, what will happen to me if UK is out of EU??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is possible that the UK and EU would do a deal to protect the existing legal status of EU citizens already in the UK (and vice versa), but that is not certain.

      Delete
    2. It's unlikely that they will separate you from your child and husband, but I would try to apply for British citizenship regardless, just in case...

      Delete
  34. If anyone here believes for one second that all these concerns are not, or will not be the topic of great discussion and debate, by the leaders that we place our trust in, to run this country to the best of their ability, do not follow the fundamental principles of the foundation of this country and its beliefs on humanity, then you have no trust in the people that have all the facts and would rather believe the people that have a handful of suppositions. Relax and have faith no matter what your political views are and consider all the people that have a say in the conditions of either staying in or leaving the EU will conclude with all the British people at heart!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not that simple, there are different views as to what the best interests of the British people are and there would have to be a negotiation with other countries who will think of their own citizens first - particularly in the case of Brexit.

      Delete
  35. David Cameron has openly stated he wants Britain to stay in the Union but wants to reform the powers of migration and immigration increasing the control back to London. Is that not what we all want? Why is there so much gloom as to thinking an amicable solution can not be found that will improve the somewhat poor control that exists today. This is a golden opportunity to improve the conditions and control structure that Britain has within the Union, a clear improvement which might, and only just might impose some more definitive controls on the migration of Brits. There is nothing to suggest a melt down of relationships or any degradation. This is a time to think positively and a time to appreciate just how strong a nation we are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are two problems: (a) he might not get very much of what he wants to renegotiate and (b) what he does get might not be enough for critics of immigration from the EU. I agree that both problems might well be overcome, but it's not realistic to simply casually dismiss their existence.

      Delete
  36. Steve; I feel extremely passionate about my origins but cannot deny that a Brexit for me is just too backward for me. Do I have an option to Live in the Eu as a Eu citizen?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lewis, if the UK leaves the EU British nationals will not be EU citizens. There won't be a possibility to declare oneself an EU citizen instead or also, unless you can obtain the nationality of another EU Member State. It remains to be seen if the UK and EU would strike a deal on what happens to each others' citizens, and what that deal would say.

      Delete
  37. I was born in the UK to an Italian mother and a German father. I'm not considered a British citizen because my parents were not considered "legally settled" when I was born. This is because they were only living and working in the UK for 3 years when I was born. According to the British government this isn't long enough. So I have an Italian passport. I have been schooled in the UK and have only ever lived and worked in the UK. I pay my taxes, my NINO contribution, I've never claimed JSA or housing benefit and yet if the UK leaves the EU I could love the right to live and work in the very country I was born. How would that be a fair outcome for myself and the others like me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully the UK and the EU would agree to safeguard the position of everyone already resident in the event of Brexit. But we cannot be sure of this.

      Delete
    2. I really understand how you feel. I was living in Italy for 17 years and had permanent residence there, however due to losing my job I moved to Austria, after 2 years I lost my permanent residence in Italy however I still have not gained permanent residence in Austria as this takes 5 years. If the UK vote to leave I could face having to return to a country I have not lived in for nearly 20 years and to which I no longer feel I belong.

      Delete
  38. I'll right away snatch your rss as I can not in finding your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you've any? Please allow me recognise in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.
    MyTravelIreland

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your interest. On the home page of the blog there is a box to subscribe for updates via email.

      Delete
  39. My wife and I have 6 month visitor visas for the USA .If the UK votes to leave the Union would there be, in your opinion, a similar arrangement between the UK and the EU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At the moment the EU (Schengen) rules allow entry for a total of 3 months in a 6 month period for 'non-visa nationals', ie people with the nationality of countries like Canada and the USA who don't need a visa to visit the Schengen area. If the UK left the EU (a) would there be a visa waiver arrangement between the UK and EU? Some in the UK might not want one, since they might want to impose visas on Romanians and Bulgarians etc, in which case in principle the whole EU (apart from Ireland) could in principle retaliate by imposing visas on Brits, although they might hesitate to do so. (b) The EU is discussing the idea of a 'touring visa' letting some non-EU citizens stay for a longer period; this is closer to the US six-month visa. But the discussions on this idea are going quite slowly at the moment.

      Delete
  40. Hi I am a EU citizen working and living legally in the UK. I have never claimed any benefit, been a tax payer since I came here and have also bought my house in the UK. However I will not complete 5 years before the referendum and will not be able to apply for permanent UK residence. What will happen to people like me? Do we have to quit our jobs,sell our houses and return back?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a later blog post on this issue. See: http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/what-would-happen-to-eu-nationals.html

      Delete
  41. The Tories are such a group of bandits. Seems to me they will try to push for a EU Freedom of Movement arrangement in which the freedom is only for goods, services and capitals but not for the human beings enjoying them. What is this? Is this still life? What are we all doing giving power to these fanatics!?

    ReplyDelete
  42. IF there was to be an OUT vote at a referendum held in 2017, at what point in the future would the consequences of that vote come into effect? Six weeks, six months, six years? I can't seem to find an answer to this question anywhere. Many thanks in anticipation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question, Darren. I have written a separate blog post on the withdrawal process. Maybe that will answer all your questions, if not feel free to ask. http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/article-50-teu-uses-and-abuses-of.html

      Delete
    2. And also - the referendum might possibly be held in 2016, that would obviously probably move forward the actual withdrawal date in the event of an OUT vote.

      Delete
    3. You are to be congratulated on your work, Steve. Perhaps things will work out. I hope that the referendum will not be held before at least the end of 2016. This coincides with the US presidential election.
      2017 gives more time for renegotiations...but is perhaps more dangerous because of other (political) reasons.

      The House of Lords could delay things. They (Labour, SNP, Lib Dem Lords) want 16-17 year olds to vote and they have a majority in the Lords. I know there have already been 2 readings, but still- they could alter the terms of the referendum. This whole thing could split the Tories up. Not all want out.
      Are you working with Open Europe? I hear that Mat Persson has become an adviser to Cameron on EU reform.
      Is there anything you can do about the right wing media bias? Murdoch?
      He owns Fox tv in the USA. He is a Republican favorite, but I am not so sure the Republicans want GB out of the EU. Can Murdoch be put on a leash somehow? I have written to the Republicans and Hilliary Clinton.
      Can you get articles published in US newspapers? What is important is how the British vote on the day of the referendum. What else can be done to ensure a yes vote?

      Delete
    4. Thanks for your comments. I hadn't thought about the cross-over with the US elections, but I am guessing the referendum would be earlier in the autumn, more likely September like the Scottish referendum. Are you thinking that it might reduce US influence since it would have a lame duck President?
      I am in contact with Open Europe - we have some points in common but not all.
      I can't control the media or demand that articles of mine be published in US (or any other) newspapers, but I will play a role in the referendum debate as best I can.

      Delete
    5. The US presidential elections will be held in November, 2016. Before that there will be a huge fight between presidential candidates in the run-up to the election. People who want out of the EU need to trade with other countries. This could get very interesting. If Americans perceive their interests to be at risk because of a Brexit, the issue could receive a lot of noisy attention during presidential debates. I don't think that a Brexit is lame duck material. I don't think that Hilliary Clinton or the Republican candidate will want to see a Brexit- fearing a weaker EU and because of the current developments in Russia and the Ukraine.

      Obama has made it clear that he wants Britain to remain in the EU.

      You could see the US exerting it's influence on the matter. I mean those who want to leave the EU need to trade with someone. If America balks because they perceive a Brexit as a security risk and refuse to trade with Britain because of a Brexit? Could happen. They are having TTIP talks with Europe. If Britain wants out, they would not be a part of this trade deal.

      No, you cannot demand that your articles are published, but you could try and submit some to the International New York Times if you so choose.

      I also read today that N. Sturgeon might appear on an American talk show soon. She wanted to discuss several things- one of which is making all countries in GB agree on a Brexit before it can occur. She just might manage to get huge media coverage in the US. She is skilled enough to do this. From the Guardian: ""Nicola Sturgeon is hoping to introduce herself to the American public with an appearance on the Daily Show as part of her visit to the US in June."
      An interview with the combative Jon Stewart would mark another spike in the SNP leader’s burgeoning international profile, as she becomes the most senior serving UK politician to appear on Comedy Central’s hugely popular satirical news programme."

      I have no idea where this will go. But she could receive a lot of media coverage. Britain is an island in an international world. Sturgeon is obviously reaching out to the world.

      Also the House of Lords is quite serious about wanting 16-18 year olds to vote in the referendum and they may force an amendment or two on the House of Commons Referendum Bill, since Labour and the Lib Dems have a majority in the House of Lords.

      I think that they just may succeed in getting the voting age lowered.
      The Lords could also delay the date of the referendum. I am guessing that it will occur towards the end of 2016.

      Delete
    6. If both Presidential candidates make clear that the UK would not have better trading relations with the US after Brexit, that would be significant. Even more so if they suggest that trade relations might be worse, although that depends on the state of the TTIP talks at the time. However, the United States certainly could not refuse to trade with the UK, as both are WTO members. The Out side would of course claim that the Americans are bluffing, but not everyone will believe that.
      The more immediate question is whether the Obama administration might already play a role by indicating its unwillingness to sign a separate deal with the UK, and by encouraging other Member States towards a compromise. The United States played a big role in the formation of the EEC which is not always recognised but their influence is surely less now than in the 1950s.

      Delete
    7. Incidentally Labour and the LibDems do not have a majority in the House of Lords - they have 312 out of 789 Lords. That is more than the 229 Tories but there are also 179 cross-benchers and 12 from other parties, 26 holy people and 31 non-affiliated. So any amendments to the Referendum Act would probably need a good chunk of cross-benchers to support them.

      Delete
    8. Steve, here is possibly another reason for Britain to stay in the EU.

      By EUOBSERVER
      Today, 10:51

      US attorney general, Loretta E. Lynch, will, in Riga on Wednesday, sign a five-year accord on EU-US judicial co-operation at a meeting with EU home affairs ministers. The event will also discuss what to do about foreign fighters and human trafficking in the context of the Mediterranean migrant crisis.

      Delete
    9. Steve, in answer to your post from May 31- in a few days there will be a G7 meeting. Obama (US) will be there. France, Italy, Germany and the UK are EU member states (Japan and Canada will also be there and both have vested interests in EU developments). As you know these 7 countries comprise the G7. Japan and Canada will make sure their voices are heard. No one is benefited if Europe recedes into another recession. Japan and Canada might have strong views on a Brexit, particularly with all the financial problems with Greece at the moment and the real possibility of a Grexit. Greece has already held talks with Putin. Not something Obama would approve of.

      China is alleging that certain "Japanese" islands are theirs. They fly over them and sail near them- intimidating Japan. Japan is also watching Europe and does not want a weakened NATO or a weakened Europe. China and Russia work together. Hold joint military exercises.

      So, yes- Obama will most definitely use his influence during the upcoming G7 meeting and will encourage the UK and the other EU member states to find a solution to their problems.
      Obama is not happy about the British defence cuts and wants to speak personally to Cameron about this.
      How much influence Obama will have remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to hear what he has to say. Of course we will never know....but he will be frank. He also has NATO behind him, because the UK may not pay it's full NATO membership fees. Neither Canada nor Japan would approve of this either and could apply some pressure.

      This is multifaceted and quite complex. Security interests could well outweigh economic interests at the moment with regards to trade deals post Brexit- but no one wants a recession in Europe that could go global.

      Delete
    10. Not only that, the US has been counting on Britain in the past to arrange deals between both sides of the pond since France has been an unreliable ally at best and Germany has been very hostile to the advancement of American influence on the continent so...the 'special bond' may get less special if Britain suddenly loses influence, and therefor usefulness, as it would with a Brexit.

      Yes, the global situation ain't nice, but even if tensions were lower chances are the yankees would still rethink how important the UK is on regards of European Affairs...

      Delete
    11. You are right. European affairs are very important to US interests.
      Jeb Bush (Republican candidate for the US presidential election), recently visited with Merkel (Germany), Poland and Estonia. The UK was not included. No Cameron. No Tories.

      Only Germany, Poland and Estonia were on his list of countries to be visited by a potential future American president. Say anything?

      The USA will do all in it's power to keep the UK on board, but has a limit- as do other EU countries- as to how far this insular, nationalistic mentality in the UK will be handled- or ignored.

      Being a part of the WTO is on paper. What happens in the real world can be quite different. Lawyers thrive on finding loop holes. So do politicians.

      It is wake up time.

      Delete
  43. I believe there are about one million British OAPs living in France and Spain who currently receive free healthcare. Will this no longer be the case if we leave the EU and how will the NHS cope if most of them end up moving back to the UK?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your question, Ginny. (This copies my reply to Warwick, above). Hopefully there would be an agreement in the event of Brexit between the UK and the EU and/or separate Member States to maintain health cover in its current form. However this might be difficult as it would presumably have to be reciprocal and there are concerns about 'health tourism' in the UK as regards visitors There might be, at the very least, agreement to cover those who have moved already before Brexit, like yourselves, given that the UK taxpayer would anyway have to cover the cost of treating them if they return to the UK; but this is not guaranteed.

      Delete
  44. I have been personally informed by a local government immigration official in The Netherlands, that unless one is married to a Dutch person, you are not allowed to keep your British citizenship if you become a Dutch citizen.

    If you do not have a Dutch spouse, you must sign a form pledging to inform the British consulate that you are giving up your British citizenship, shortly after receiving Dutch citizenship.

    If you are married to a Dutch citizen, then you may retain your British citizenship and will have dual nationality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What you say been true for many years but has recently changed. The Dutch now allow dual nationality.

      Delete
    2. I applied in August, 2015 for Dutch citizenship and had to sign a form saying I would give up my British citizenship after becoming Dutch. This was only 2 months ago.

      I have just looked for information on the Internet and could find no verification that I could remain British after becoming Dutch.

      What I did find was that dual nationality would no longer be registered in Holland.
      But that is a very different case.

      Perhaps you could be more specific about these changes you mentioned?
      I believe one political party wants amendments to the current law, but that does not mean it has changed.

      Thank you.



      Delete
    3. Dear Steve, I do not know how to reach you, so I am using your blog.
      I read that David Milliband was communicating with Hilliary Clinton. I will try and send you the Guardian article I read. Clinton is being updated on EU affairs.
      This is for you alone. It is possible Clinton is the next US president.

      " David Miliband's heartache at leadership loss revealed in new Hillary Clinton emails
      Emails from former US secretary of state’s private server show backing for Miliband as foreign secretary over ‘disingenuous’ Hague and ‘mad’ Mandelson...

      The former UK foreign secretary – who enjoyed a famously close working relationship with Clinton while in office – thanked her for a “poignant” message (which was not one of those published) after he lost the battle to lead the party to his younger brother, Ed, in 2010.
      The email, published in the latest batch of correspondence released from Clinton’s private server on Monday night, came from an address beginning “D.Gunners” – Miliband is an Arsenal fan.
      Although any reply from Clinton does not appear in this round of emails, the cache does show her response to news from an aide that Ed Miliband had won. “Clearly more about Tony that[sic] David or Ed,” Clinton wrote to Sidney Blumenthal, a long-time adviser.
      An email to Clinton from her aide, Huma Abedin, entitled “Ed Miliband is new UK Labour party leader” contained a one-word message: “Wow.”
      The wider cache of emails reveal an apparent fascination with Labour infighting as the 2010 general election loomed, with Blumenthal sending frequent updates to Clinton on Gordon Brown’s rumoured reshuffles, the resignation of minister James Purnell, and Labour’s poor showing in the 2009 European elections.
      Many of the missives centred on David Miliband’s prospects, with Peter Mandelson a much criticised figure in emails from Blumenthal. Several emails relay apparent attempts by Mandelson to ease Miliband out of his role as foreign secretary, with one update on a rumoured demotion post-European elections eliciting a response from Clinton: “Very sorry to read this confirmation.”
      In another message subtitled “Mandelson Watch”, the adviser writes that the then business secretary had manoeuvred to have Miliband moved to the EU foreign minister role in order to secure the UK foreign office for himself.
      Thwarted, Mandelson “tried to seize the EU position for himself”, Blumenthal writes. “The Europeans thought him mad. Suddenly they recalled his bad or strange behaviour as UK commissioner to the EU.”
      Blumenthal was apparently not keen to see anyone else in the foreign secretary’s chair either. In an email sent in the messy aftermath of the 2010 general election in the UK, he wrote to Clinton: “I would doubt you’ll see David again as foreign secretary. Prepare for hauge [sic, William Hague], who is deeply anti-European and will be disingenuous with you.”
      Before the election, Blumenthal also wrote scathingly of Conservative leader David Cameron, telling the secretary of state: “Cameron would be superficially friendly and privately scornful. Class has a lot to do with the contempt. A Cameron government would be more aristocratic and even narrowly Etonian than any Conservative government in recent history.”
      In response to the long rundown of the machinations behind the 2010 coalition talks, Clinton responded to Blumenthal: “I shared your emails w Bill who thought they were ‘brilliant’! Keep ‘em coming when you can.”
      Hillary Clinton had earlier written that she had had drinks with Miliband ahead of the election: “I have crossed fingers!”
      In an interview with Vogue magazine in 2009, Clinton told an interviewer who had complimented Miliband’s accent: “If you saw him it would be a big crush. I mean, he is so vibrant, vital, attractive, smart. He’s really a good guy. And he’s so young!”
      Miliband returned the praise, telling Vogue: “She’s delightful to deal with one on one. She’s someone who laughs and can tease, and she’s got perspective as well.”

      Delete
  45. Let us be clear. As a British citizen you are allowed to have dual citizenship. It is the Dutch who do not permit it that is why the 'local immigration officer' was so clear.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Way back when on this site It was stated that if the Conservatives won the election they would 'reform' the 15 yr rule arbitrarily imposed on Ex-Pat Brits in regard to voting rights. Just to give you an idea of whether you can trust any of them in the UK..They did get in - and they immediately 'welched' on that election manifesto pledge (after 100,000 ex-pat votes had been delivered to them on that promise) They did however give the vote back to Brits living in Gibraltar? So some of us are more equal (valuable) than others it seems ?. Instead of sitting and hoping the UK does the right thing ,maybe we should be getting more vocal and pro active ..before Brexit..Too many Brits in the UK are having 'knee Jerk' reactions to this situation.fuelled by Tabloid newspapers run by illiterates with no idea about ' that which they are talking about.' At least when I lived in the Netherlands they trusted their people to be intelligent enough to understand the Maastricht Treaty and published double page spreads in their newspapers explaining it in detail.This SHOULD be happening in the UK. Says a lot about how the political elite view their citizens there.Maybe then I would not have to listen to my brother ranting down the phone about 'all these illegals trying to push their way into the country whilst the b****y French (his words) let them in.As Germany has taken over 800,000 and Turkey 3.5 million so far WHAT is the UK bleating about? Cameron's 'knee jerk' contribution of late has been to build a 12 million pound fence!! Now who does that remind you of? I don't trust them an inch anymore,am ashamed of their attitude ,and disgusted at their willingness to be lead by the nose by those with other agendas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In any event, if Brexit happened France would have no underlying obligation under EU internal market law to keep the tunnel clear. Nor would there be any guarantee that the EU would agree to sign a deal to take back asylum-seekers who travel through the EU to reach the UK - indeed I think it's rather unlikely that the EU would sign such a one-sided deal, and they have only ever agreed to extend the Dublin rules to countries which have also signed up to Schengen. So I don't see why leaving the EU would reduce the number of people trying to get to the UK via Calais - quite the reverse.

      Delete
  47. I am British passport holder and I have been living and working full-time in Germany for 11 years. I am currently in the process of applying for German citizenship. Why? I don't really know. I think I panicked about the thought of having to apply for residency if and when (I am not an optimist) the UK votes to leave the EU.
    The current law in Germany allows dual-citizenship in a few cases, notably when one is already an EU passport-holder.
    My dilemna is as follows: if/when the UK leaves the EU, can I be forced to hand back either my new German or British passport.
    This is rightly a question for a German immigration lawyer, but, unfortunately, there is no precedent for this situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. States usually provide that naturalised citizens can have their citizenship rescinded (and so passports taken away) in a handful of extreme situations like fraud or terrorism. It's highly unlikely that this would be extended to take citizenship of an EU country away after Brexit, merely because a citizen is also a UK national.

      Delete
    2. Hello Steve

      Thanks a lot for your educated (!) words (I checked your profile).

      In the meantime I have spoken to a few Germans who have said that the principle of "Rechtssicherheit" (roughly translated as "the ability to depend upon the predictability of the law") means that a decision granted today based on the prevailing law (ie. EU citizens in Germany who qualify for German citizenship can retain their original citizenship, in addition) would mean that a future change of legal scenario - ie. the UK no longer being an EU country - will not be "undone" in retrospect.

      Feeling a bit better now.

      I don't "want to be German". I just want a German passport.

      Rgds from Munich

      Delete
    3. You can then easily move to Switzerland where salaries are 4 times larger than in Germany.

      Delete
  48. What about those British who buy property abroad? After all, their number is growing. For example, according to an article “British activity on the continental European real estate markets has grown over the last eighteen months and UK citizens are returning to their old haunts. The number of property sales to British in Spain and France grew 27% and 33% in 2014 respectively, and the trend persists this year. British made 35% more purchases in Spain during the first quarter of 2015 in comparison to the same period in 2014. A poll conducted by Gocompare.com at the end of last year shows that 20% of British planning to purchase property for the first time want to do so abroad”. (source: https://tranio.com/world/analytics/british_more_often_buy_property_in_eu.en_4769/ )
    How will this situation affect them?

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    1. The EU law free movement of capital will not apply to the UK after Brexit, unless the UK and EU negotiate a treaty to that effect. Failing that, the EU Treaties say that there is a 'standstill' on free movement of capital with non-EU countries, ie the law cannot in principle be made more restrictive. But there are exceptions to that rule which do not apply to EU members.

      So the answer is either (a) free movement of capital will continue on the basis of a treaty. I would rate this 'somewhat likely' to be agreed; there may be complications because those on the 'Leave' side will not want to agree to issues which the EU side could well insist on linking to free movement of capital (free movement of persons, contribution to EU budget, acceptance of EU law; these are all linked in the EEA treaty, the only EU treaty that extends full free movement of capital to non-EU states); (b) failing that there would be somewhat less protection than at present.

      The counter-argument 'no one will restrict house sales by Brits, because they want our money' is not convincing, in light of the case law that shows many restrictions on property sales (or discriminatory taxation) by Member States.

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  49. Obama speaking with Cameron:
    Source: Guardian news article

    "Finally, they noted ongoing efforts to resolve the political impasse in Libya, and Prime Minister Cameron updated President Obama on his negotiations with European Union leaders to reform the United Kingdom's membership in the European Union. The President (Obama) reaffirmed continued U.S. support for a strong United Kingdom in a strong European Union."

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  50. Guardian article (January 6, 2016) about tax credits possibly not being available to British expatriates returning to the UK if gone longer than 4 years.
    To those who might be affected, this is not official (yet).


    "British expatriates could be banned from claiming tax credits for up to four years as part of a compromise deal David Cameron is negotiating with fellow EU leaders, the Guardian understands.

    In an attempt to win support for his proposal to ban EU migrants from claiming in-work benefits for four years, the prime minister is looking at whether the ban could apply to Britons who live abroad for four years or more.
    Downing Street appears to be ready to risk a row with such expatriates as the price for brokering a compromise with fellow EU leaders on Cameron’s welfare proposals, which are the most difficult part of his EU renegotiation.

    The prime minister looks to be reaching out to fellow EU leaders by signalling that the four-year ban on in-work benefits would only apply to new arrivals to the UK from other EU countries. This means that about a million migrant workers from the Visegrad group of countries – Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia – working in the UK would be free to continue claiming tax credits without any restrictions.

    Cameron is telling EU leaders that he wants to deal with the “artificial draw” of the UK’s non-contributory welfare system in attracting migrants. This does not apply to EU migrants who have already settled in the UK.

    The plan could prove controversial among British workers who take advantage of EU free movement rules to relocate to countries such as Spain, and who would expect to be able to top up low wages through tax credits on their return to Britain."

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  51. We lost freedom of speech years ago so now we stand to loose freedom of movement us British don't live in the uk we exist sometimes only just the uk broke a long time ago and I can't see how it could be fixed.

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  52. Hi everyone
    Visa delays for family member of EU/EEA citizen exercising his free movement rights under the Directives 2004/38/EC.
    I have applied for my wife and son (my son is now a british passport holder) schengen visa for Spain to exercise my treaty rights in accordance with the pursuant to the EU/EEA Directive 2004/38/E Free Movement in may 2015 at Spain embassy Pakistan. But after 7 weeks it was unlawfully refused. On advice from SOLVIT We appealed against the decision and were successful. Embassy admitted it was their mistake and they have withdrawn their original decision and asked us to submit the passports and sworn Spanish translations of all the documents. Which we submitted again on end of oct 2015. They also said via email that decision will be in 21 working days.
    But it’s been almost 4 months and we haven’t heard nothing and despite sending them emails every two weeks there is no response at all. I have contacted Solvit and they are not responding as well. I don’t know what to do......
    I have submitted following documents some of the documents were submitted as VFS wont processthe application.
    Applicants for non-Eu spouse and son
    1- filled application forms and passports for both applicants
    2- cover letter explaining about exercising my treaty rights
    3- marriage certificate ( original and translated in English and attested by ministry of foreign affair of Pakistan)
    4- birth certificate
    5- Nadra identity card copy
    6- Family registration certificate (Naadra)
    Additional supporting documents
    1- travel itinerary
    2- hotel booking
    3- travel and medical insurance
    4- evidence of dependency (house deeds, id cards copy, utility bill, bank statements from Pakistan and united kingdom banks showing transfers of money regularly
    Evidence of EU/EEa national working and residing in Spain
    1- certified copy of British passport and Nadra id card copy
    2- N.I.E
    3- Social security registration or Residence certificate
    4- Self employed registration and business details (autonomo)
    5- Updated registrar certificate from local town, or electoral register

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  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. The main thrust of Cameron's renegotiation plan is to limit in-work benefits, so that would not affect you. However other limits on benefits might, it's difficult to say.

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  54. Loads of northern European countries have been getting bombarded by the refugees crisis that the UK caused in the first place, and non of them are planning on holding a referendum on leaving the EU. But as soon as all of the MTV nazis in the UK even catch the sight of the refugee problems they've caused from a huge safe distance on the telly, they all start panicking and threatening to split from europe. What a pathetic spoilt country, I'm really glad I left and I'll never go back.

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    1. To be fair I think the UK is hardly the sole cause of the refugee crisis; and that is not the sole reason for people supporting the 'Leave' side.

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  55. Hi Steve. Really, very interesting reading all these comments and your replies, taking into account the historical nature of many of the comments. Now we know that the referendum is for the 23rd June 2016, I suppose it really is time the British people living in an EU state look carefully at their position. I live in Poland (yes, stealing Pole’s jobs, I know) and I am currently married to a Pole, who works in the UK. He has a pre-EU membership visa so presumably will not be much affected by ‘Brexit’ (vile word – why do they have to invent these simplistic words? Is everyone in the UK thick now?) My daughter is 12 and has Polish nationality – Obywatelstwo Polski – so she can claim her Polish passport once she is 18, or simply have Polish ID card which currently would as a travel document. She currently has a British passport. I am English and hold a British passport but I also have Permanent Residency in Poland – Prawo Stalego Pobyt. If I remember rightly, when I applied for this card, this status, I was advised that I didn’t really need it because I am a British passport holder, and citizen of an EU state. With the possible withdrawal of the UK from the EU, would you happen to know if my status here will be altered? I speak Polish, live Polish: I own a house and a flat and some land and I had intended to purchase some farmland once the rules on ‘Foreigners purchasing Farmland’ are relaxed in May 2016 according to Poland’s membership of the EU. My husband has been back in the UK for 9 years now and we are thinking of divorcing. Do you think that my daughter’s Polish nationality will allow me to continue with the divorce and still live here? Or should I delay the divorce? If you have time to read this, I thank you. If you have time to comment, mega thanks!

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Helen. I can't advise on individual cases. In general UK citizens in other Member States should look into the possibility of getting permanent residence under national law (which hopefully would not be taken away after Brexit) and/or under EU law. The latter provides for permanent residence after five years' legal stay on the basis of the EU citizens' Directive, which includes time spent as a worker there. Hopefully there would be a reciprocal agreement to protect any EU permanent residence rights gained before Brexit.

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  56. Bring this debate up to date! Prof Derrick Wyatt's report to the House of Lords.
    As a long term expat resident in Spain, who pays taxes and benfits from the health service, and am getting older by the second, I am taking the postion that we will know nothing definite for at least 2 years. My worry is that bilateral negotiations betwen Spain and the Uk will be conducted by self centre politicians who don't care a toss for their expats! Woe betide the UK's NHS if 1million over 70s return home,

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  57. My wife and I have lived in France for 14 years, we sold our house in France last year and since then have been basically living in airbnb properties. In the event of an out vote we feel that the French authorities would not be helpful and would make life difficult. We have two sons one in university in France the other taking a gap year out from his studies. again in France. My sons are effectively French, although British born. This is a nightmare, we have nothing in the UK, yet we could be forced back there.
    I have spoken to many expat's who do not seem bothered about the referendum and feel that in the event of an out vote they will be accommodated in the host country. I on the other hand do not believe this and feel a more cautious approach is necessary.
    Another issue for me is that I am in receipt of UK government pensions and I think the UK government would be only too pleased to freeze my pensions in the event of an out vote.
    The whole thing is dreadful, the only positive for us is that we are able to still vote.....only just!
    Any comments really welcome.
    Regards
    Robert

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  58. I am British and I live and work in the United States it took me two years and having to do a second masters degree to get a job here, and I want to stay this is my home, my partner is American. I constantly worry about being sent home so we decided to get married next year so I can apply for citizenship. My daughter is currently living and working in France as a mechanic and is really worried about having to go back to the UK. I don't want her to be constantly worrying about being sent back to the UK or having the expense that I've had recently having to reapply for a VISA. People haven't thought about the millions of British living in European countries or the number of people from other countries who are living and working in the UK and contributing to the economy. Probably because they are so full of hatred and of the opinion that everyone coming to the UK is sponging off the social security and taking jobs that the British should have. Highlighting the sovereignty angle to negate against remaining is another argument being used and I have to admit I'm proud to be British and would hate for us to lose our identity but is that really going to happen, I'm not sure but isn't that up to the British to retain their identity. It's not like we really have any real power any more and I think that it just may be disastrous to the economy now if Britain leaves. I remember being able to do my first masters degree for £2,000 because of European funding and my teaching qualification was supported by European funding. Thank you for all your comments. As a British citizen and being able to vote as I only left the UK three years ago after living and working in the UK for 55 years I will vote to stay in the EU. So that future generations will be able to work and travel freely across Europe.

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    1. Tough luck John! You can't have best of both worlds... Choose one! You can always have the better one: the UK, not Spain. Jose

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  59. Certainly as UK National OAP's living in France, it is a constant worry as to what is likely to happen ...my husband has had two mini strokes, and I have had various illnesses - at our age it is unlikely we would receive treatment in the UK (83 and 68) ....and probably unlikely we would be able to afford private health cover. There are a number of young people with families from the UK working here who would probably be unable to stay (most of them work for themselves under various schemes ) as those jobs could be done by French nationals ...as has been said, nothing has been said that gives us any concrete information as to what the position would be of ex pat UK nationals . Some remarks have been made to the effect that 'you made your bed, you lie on it'...this is not very helpful or informative. It would be difficult if not impossible to move back to the UK even if forced to do so by France ....we could not afford even to move, let alone obtain anywhere to live ! and we are not alone.

    Also, Security of the whole of the UK and the EU is of increasing concern (not to mention the US now) and in the EU shared intelligence is a matter of great importance. The UK cannot go it alone, no matter what they say. This has, as usual, been a knee jerk reaction - not thought through. Now it is too late - the only hope is that the EU will decide the referendum in the UK is illegal.

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    1. Your only hope that the EU reaffirms to everyone that they are NOT a democracy and annulls the Brexit Referendum. Tough luck Sandra! Byebye France for you and Hello Home Sweet Home! I am pro Brexit by the way, so you're not the only one loving your freedom from the oppressive undemocratic state called "EU" and I hope that my Spain leaves it as well.

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  60. Thoroughly agree with you , Sandra and sympathize with your plight. I am Scottish but have lived in the Netherlands since 1982 . I never saw the need to change my nationality believing that my UK passport would guarantee my right of residence. In the event of an ad hoc agreement with the EU , this will no longer be the case . I am not a lawyer but I believe the referendum could be declared illegal on the following grounds: The people were being asked to choose the status quo and completely unknown territory . It ought to have been between the status quo and the Post-Brexit negotiated deal. Secondly. the British people were lied to about the savings in EU contributions and immigration. In the event of Britain remaining in the EEA ( the single market), the free movement of people would still be a reality and Britain would continue to have to pay a contribution to the EU . In this scenario , the British would lose the right to vote in EU elections , lose the commissioners , effectively relinquishing all influence over EU decision-making . Ergo , there has to be a second referendum , this time with a proper choice between the present situation with all rights and influence retained or the single market that is all the duties of membership without the rights . This is surely not a good situation to be in.

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    1. You smart arse Brits want best of both worlds brought to you by a platter and the messenger would not be a democrat. How about three referendums, would that satisfy you? Second one votes LEAVE and then third one votes LEAVE. How's that? Bye bye EUSSR and welcome back home in the YOUKAY. Znatnice?

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    2. The 'EUSSR' is the most pathetic argument ever made by Brexiteers. At what point did the EU invade countries or hold show trials, etc? Every state voted to join by an elected parliament or (in the majority of states) by the public. Grow up.

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  61. Im from albania i have a redincial card- leave to remain card and live in UK, im going to albania in 2 weeks will there be a problem moving back and further now that were out of EU. THank you

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    1. Unless you are the family member of an EU citizen then Brexit will not affect you anyway. But in any event the UK's application of EU law should not change over the summer.

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  62. I was waiting for this day until all UK "expats" or rather immigrants or migrants or job seekers will get kicked out of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Germany, France etc. The sooner the better. Sooner - better. Tomorrow - even better. Today - is perfect!

    Jose Carlos

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    1. That would violate EU immigration law and human rights law. Are you some sort of fascist?

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  63. Nice blog! UK Prime Minister has clarified that UK will not guarantee rights of EU nationals working in UK unless EU countries extend similar guarantee to Britons working in EU Countries @ http://www.canadaupdates.com/2017/01/17/eu-citizens-might-face-difficulties-to-stay-in-the-uk/

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  64. I have read all the comments ,and I despair .If we leave the EEU we will be at the mercy of countries like the USA who see us as a country for sale, it will not matter how much Germany wants us to stay if any one of the other 27 say NO ,and there are lots who don't like us for our past dealings. As for immigration I think most who voted for that reason meant from the rest of the world, which is the greater number not from the EU, outside of the EU nothing will stop this Government from down grading Health & Safety Human Rights and rafts of other laws which protect the citizens of this country Who is doing this, none other than a person who is unelected either by her own party or the country using a vote that carries no weight in law.Nigel by the way stated the if the vote was against leaving then it had to be by 2/3 majority so we the people have aright to demand a vote on any future outcone.

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  65. As a second home owner in Spain I am fiscally non resident and am limited to 182 days a year . I think this will be unaffected by BREXIT. However I hope as I have a property not of high value though and an NEi of course that I will not need a visa to go to my Spainish property in the winter. Also I think whether being an owner prior to BREXIT whether I might be allowed to stay longer than 182 days if I need to in my old age provided maybe I fill in full tax return instead of the 210 impuestos por la rent a minimal amount

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    1. Unless an acquired rights agreement covers situations like yours it's possible that visiting the property for periods of longer than 3 months in a 6 month period (which is the usual limit for non-visa non-EU nationals) will be more complicated after Brexit.

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  66. Another point - is it too late to apply for Residencia in Spain as a pensioner .will there be a cut off off date for DWP provision of an S1 that you need for this. Will it be the article 50 triggering date or the actual BREXIT date ?

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    1. That will depend on the acquired rights agreement if there is one, and if it deals with this issue. Otherwise it would depend on national law, unless (on the Spanish side) an EU law addresses the issue.

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  67. i m really ensure the matters of K would be free to give expression to these views, but there would be consequences for British expatriates remaining in the EU.






    Hire Tax advisors in the UK | Is a trust tax avoidance

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