Happy crowds of people have been celebrating Brexit in the UK, but there are many others feeling sad and anxious about what it means for their future.
Labour International members don’t live in the UK, but many of us do live in EU countries, so Brexit has the potential to seriously affect our lives too, and those of our families, friends and neighbours. What rights do we lose along with our EU citizenship? Are we going to be allowed to continue living where we are now? Can we move to another EU country? What about getting our pensions and healthcare? Can we return to the UK with family members who are EU citizens? Are our driving licences still valid? Those are just some of our concerns.
In future newsletters we plan to publish news and helpful information about ongoing changes due to Brexit and how to deal with any problems it might cause. Members of our branches in EU countries can also offer local advice and practical help.
But to start with, here’s a quick guide to finding what you need to know on the UK Government website, together with short extracts of information from the pages. Click on the headers for full information.
The Transition Period
“There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements. The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period.”
General Guidance for British Nationals in Europe,
“The Withdrawal Agreement secures your rights and allows you to stay in the EU country where you live after 31 January 2020. You will continue to have broadly the same entitlements to work, study and access public services and benefits as before the UK left the EU”.
Country Guides for UK nationals living in Europe
Find more specific information for the country you live in. You can also sign up to get email updates as the situation changes.
Returning to the UK
“UK nationals’ children and existing close family members (including spouses, partners, parents and grandparents) who are moving to the UK from the EU, after the UK has left the EU, will be able to do so without the need for a visa until 29 March 2022.”
Stay in the UK (‘Settled Status’): Step by Step
“If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.”
Claiming Benefits if You Live, Move or Travel Abroad
“You may still be able to claim some benefits if you travel or move abroad, or if you’re already living abroad. What you’re entitled to depends on where you’re going and how long for”.
Common Travel Area Guidance
The Common Travel Area covers Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
“If you are a British citizen or an Irish citizen you do not need to take any action to protect your status and rights associated with the CTA. After the UK leaves the EU, you will continue to enjoy these rights, no matter what the terms of the UK’s exit.”
The Withdrawal Agreement
You can download and read the agreement and other related documents.
“The new Political Declaration sets out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom and reflects the Government’s ambition to conclude an ambitious, broad, deep and flexible partnership across trade and economic cooperation with the EU, with a free trade agreement with the EU at its core, alongside agreements on security and other areas of cooperation.”