EU and UK negotiators poles apart on UK and EU expats fates

Published:  23 Aug at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
As British parliamentarians shrug off the holiday spirit and reluctantly turn their thoughts to getting on with their jobs, what’s in the upcoming session for Brexpats?

Reports that both sides’ projections about the post-Brexit fates of UK and EU expats are becoming clearer are filtering in from the two opposing teams of negotiators, but nothing is, as yet, set in tablets of stone. PM Theresa May’s recently published policy paper finally refers to Brits living across Europe, and Guy Verhofstadt is suggesting they are granted ‘associate citizenship’ in their present countries of residence.

May’s comments are likely to be considered as too little, too late by UK expats in Europe, but at least they’ve now got a serious mention in official Brexit documentation. The PM has pledged two of the points considered by expat groups to be mandatory – free healthcare and UK pensions. The policy paper states entitlement to free healthcare must continue under a revamped European Health Card scheme, and the index-linked annual increases in the UK state pension will continue.

The EU’s stance on free movement for UK citizens already resident in Europe has been confirmed, in that residence rights gained after the UK has left the EU will not include the right to study or work in any other EU member state. Before the British parliament’s summer recess, David Davis told MPs he has questioned the EU’s lack of reciprocity concerning this issue, adding it will be further discussed this autumn.

In an attempt to bridge the widening gap between the UK and EU, Theresa May is suggesting offloading responsibility for certain points of negotiation to an as yet unnamed international, independent arbitrator. As regards issues raised by Verhofstadt’s offer of associate citizenship possibly including voting rights, the immediate sticking point seems to be an agreement as to which court should decide on the matter of disputed cases of citizenship.

Another issue likely to prove a sticking point is Verhofstadt’s strong opposition to the involvement of a British court in key legal decisions affecting EU nationals, whilst May is in opposition to giving any jurisdiction to the European Court of Justice in matters concerning UK nationals. Perhaps the only real reassurance for expats at present is the statement that talks will continue from September
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive