Unfortunately, things are now getting confrontational between the UK and the EU as I expect you have heard. The UK has said it will not pay its EU debts if it doesn’t get the ‘deal’ it wants and that British people will blame the EU for not giving it a ‘deal’.
The EU has officially confirmed that if the UK crashes out next March, there are no citizens rights agreed either for EU expats or British expats. This is the very worst news for expats as it will leave individual countries to deal with expats as they so wish without an EU-wide set of rules. EU countries could legally force British expats to leave or force them to accept citizenship if they want to stay or anything inbetween, or even charge extortionate fees for temporary visas.
It is generally accepted that a ‘no deal’ scenario or ‘crashing out’ is now the most likely outcome as all EU countries have unanimously agreed they will not change the single market rules and laws just to please the UK, which means the UK’s Chequers White Paper cannot form a basis for negotiation. As Theresa May has refused to budge from her white paper, there is no way forward.
In addition, the issue of the Northern Ireland border has not been resolved which means the Withdrawal Agreement cannot go ahead (and hence the transition period from March 2019 to December 2020 cannot go ahead). It also means the citizens (expats) rights agreed in the Withdrawal Agreement cannot go ahead either.
The UK government is sending its ministers to European capitals over the summer to try to bribe or bully them into changing EU rules and laws to suit the UK. The meeting this past Monday with Germany resulted in a statement that both countries look forward to making bilateral arrangements after Brexit. This is a diplomatic way of saying ‘No’ to the UK proposal. Theresa May had a meeting with Angela Merkel a week ago and got the same frosty reception. Without Germany and France onboard, the UK has no hope of getting what it wants. Spain also has a veto over Gibraltar as well, just to complicate matters.
Unless Theresa May and Westminster accept they have to negotiate with the EU on the basis of the existing EU rules and laws, there is no chance of progress for the UK. By default, the UK will crash out of the EU next March without the UK or the EU having to do anything at all. Theresa May ensured this by triggering Article 50 prematurely before understanding what its consequences would be…..