British expats in Europe worried about the implications of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal need not worry – at least until the start of 2021.
Although his Withdrawal Agreement does not contain any terms for expats, Brits in Europe will find their status is unchanged during the transition period lasting until December 31, 2020 under former prime minister Theresa May’s negotiations which are not affected by the new deal.
After the transition period, unless there is an extension beyond December 31, expat rights will remain broadly the same except for freedom of movement.
Brits in Europe will lose the right to borderless travel, with some passport checks at frontiers.
Campaigners keep up pressure
Expat groups are trying to keep the pressure on the British government to consider their interests during Talks with the EU.
British in Europe, one of the largest campaign and lobby groups, wrote to the Prime Minister the day after his Election 2019 victory urging him to safeguard their rights.
“Let us spell it out again: the status of 1.3 million British citizens, young and old, depends directly on the way in which EU 27 citizens are to be treated in the UK. Language and policies matter – undermining the status of our EU 27 friends in the UK undermines our status,” says the letter.
Free movement lost
“This is a far cry from the promises that were made during the Referendum campaign when Vote Leave – the group you spearheaded – pledged that nothing would change for the five million people whose lives would, in fact, be directly affected by Brexit. In fact, you accused those of us raising these entirely prescient concerns of ‘scaremongering’.
“Even if a deal is reached by end October, we will lose key rights anyway, such as free movement, and cross border working and recognition of qualifications.
“It gives us no pleasure whatsoever to have been proved right, and we call yet again upon the government to make good upon its duty to protect the interests of its citizens who reside in the EU 27.”
The call is backed by the3million, campaigners for the rights of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit.