How will EU expats in the UK cope with a post-Brexit world?

Published:  30 Jan at 6 PM
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What’s in store post-Brexit for EU expatriates living and working in the UK?

Whilst the media focus of Brexit effects has centred on the needs of British expats living in EU member states, Britain’s divorce from the EU will also affect European expats in the UK. For those who haven’t already left or are planning to relocate once Brexit is a done deal, the future could well be as fraught as that experienced by UK expats in Europe. In addition, the immediate disruption caused by Brexit is likely to discourage Europeans from arriving to work in the UK.

Even getting to the UK using the Eurostar fast train service, a favourite for EU expats, is likely to become more difficult, as the UK/EU divorce is expected to disrupt the service due to the need for examination of passengers’ documents by customs agents. For some undisclosed reason, future passengers are now being advised to take out travel insurance before they leave the home country. Essential services such as banking are expected to suffer post-Brexit, as many financial institutions are now moving their headquarters to EU member states in order to be able to continue with their international services.

EU nationals living and working in the UK are now being advised by immigration lawyers to get permanent residence before March 29, advice which is considered useless as there’s not enough time left to ensure permission is given and documentation received. For EU citizens who’ve lived long-term in the UK and have families as well as being part of established communities, the post-Brexit economy is likely to prove problematic, with cost of living rises as well as shortages considered inevitable.

Unfortunately, post-Brexit support services for expatriates seem to be non-existent, with many newcomers unable to navigate the new rules without at least some help, especially if their English is less than fluent. All told, it’s quite possible that citizens of EU member states who’d been hoping to make a life in the UK may decide the country is no longer as welcoming as it was in the past.
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