European Union


Committee believes rights of British expats will be in doubt if UK votes to leave EU

by Ray Clancy on May 6, 2016

The rights of hundreds of thousands of British expats living in Europe would be thrown into doubt if the country votes to leave the European Union in the June referendum, according to a House of Lords Committee.

A number of key issues affecting expats, including access to health care, social security, residence rights and employment rights would need to be negotiated and that could take some time, says a report from the Lords’ European Union Committee.

It believes that these rights would be a key element of the withdrawal negotiations which would be a “complex and daunting task” and could take longer than the two years allowed under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty with no guarantee that an extension would be permitted.

eu-european-union

“We don’t take a view on whether the UK should leave the EU or not. But it is clear that if that’s what people decide, withdrawal would mean difficult and lengthy negotiations,” said Lord Boswell, the chairman of the committee.

“It is not possible to predict exactly how long it would take but comparable international trade deals have taken on average between four and nine years,” he added.

There would also have to be a review of the entire corpus of the EU as it applied in the UK and the devolved nations, with the Government having to assess which laws it wished to retain, another process which could take years to complete, the committee said.

The report also point out that the European Council has stated explicitly that the changes to the terms of the UK’s membership of the EU, agreed in February 2016, will automatically fall in the event of a vote to leave on 23 June.

Also, while the UK would remain a full member of the EU over the course of the withdrawal negotiations, its credibility as a member would be severely undermined, the report suggests.

However, Roland Smith, a fellow at the Adam Smith Institute, a free market think tank, does not believe there will be long and protracted negotiations should the UK decided to leave the EU as the argument is based on the presumption that it will do so in a complex and daunting way, attempting to unpick many treaty obligations and partially replace them with a trade deal.

“This is very unlikely to be the case. The Conservative government, the majority of whom have declared for Remain, are not about to cut off from the EU in a lengthy and complex way. Equally the EU is unlikely to offer anything other than the off the shelf EEA deal, similar to Norway and Liechtenstein’s, and will make a tailored deal for Britain impossible to discourage other members from leaving,” he pointed said.

“The EEA option would have almost no effect on expats, or much else, because Britain’s single market participation and the four freedoms would stay intact at exit,” he added.

{ 0 comments }

Thumbnail image for British expats to continue with legal challenge over EU referendum vote

British expats to continue with legal challenge over EU referendum vote

April 29, 2016 Britain

Lawyers acting for British citizens fighting a legal battle for the right to vote in the European Union referendum in June are to appeal to the UK’s Supreme Court after their arguments were rejected by two High Court judges. The case was taken to the High Court hearing on behalf of 94 year old Harry […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Poland and Romania are origin of highest number of expats in the UK

Poland and Romania are origin of highest number of expats in the UK

April 26, 2016 Europe

More people have moved to the UK from Poland, Romania, Spain, Italy, Hungary and Portugal than any other European Union countries, new research has found. Some 80% of people who have moved to the UK since 2011 have come from these six countries, according to a new analysis by the Migration Observatory at the University […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Poll suggests people in Europe more worried about at Brexit than the British

Poll suggests people in Europe more worried about at Brexit than the British

April 22, 2016 Britain

Much has been written already about the UK potentially leaving the European Union and its potential effect on expats with concerns and worries being expressed. But new research shows that European citizens are even more concerned about what is known as a Brexit than British people. The poll of five European countries by global research […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Poll finds two thirds of British expats in the EU are worried about impact of a BREXIT

Poll finds two thirds of British expats in the EU are worried about impact of a BREXIT

April 21, 2016 Britain

Two thirds of British expats in Europe are worried about the UK leaving the European Union, believing that such a move would have an impact on their lives. Some 68% said they were worried about a Brexit, 24% were not concerned and 8% did not know, according to the poll of expats in Spain, France, […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for British expats could know within days if they can vote in EU referendum

British expats could know within days if they can vote in EU referendum

April 11, 2016 Britain

The UK’s High Court is expected to hear arguments in the legal challenge against the UK Government over its decision to exclude British expats from the referendum on the country’s position in the European Union this week. Lawyers will argue that up to two million British expats people living in the European Union are unjustly […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for More Europeans want to work in the UK than British do in the EU

More Europeans want to work in the UK than British do in the EU

April 6, 2016 European Union

The percentage of Europeans seeking work in the UK significantly outstrips the percentage of Britons looking for jobs in mainland Europe, according to new research. The study of tens of millions of searches by European Union job seekers by global employment site Indeed found that among those looking for work in a foreign country the […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for British expats already feeling stressed over future of EU membership

British expats already feeling stressed over future of EU membership

March 30, 2016 Britain

Treaties would need to be put in place to recreate the current situation when it comes to tax, pensions, study and properties if the UK votes to leave the European Union in the upcoming referendum in June. There have been a variety of claims about what this would mean for British expats in Europe with […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for British expats launch London court bid over EU referendum vote

British expats launch London court bid over EU referendum vote

March 17, 2016 European Union

A challenge has been launched by a British expat in the High Court in London claiming that preventing Brits who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting in the forthcoming referendum on membership of the European Union is illegal. British people living abroad for less than 15 years can still vote in […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for British expats in the EU fearing losing health, benefit and pension rights if UK leaves

British expats in the EU fearing losing health, benefit and pension rights if UK leaves

February 23, 2016 European Union

British expats living and working in Europe are largely in favour of the UK staying in the European Union and campaigning groups have already voiced their concerns about the effects an exit would have. It is estimated that around two million British people currently work in EU countries and many are concerned that if the […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Debate set in UK parliament over new pay threshold for certain visa streams

Debate set in UK parliament over new pay threshold for certain visa streams

February 17, 2016 European Union

New measures due to take effect in the UK which mean that non-European Union citizens earning under £35,000 a year will only be allowed to stay in the country for six years is being challenged. Under the new rules due to come into force in April a pay threshold will be introduced for people in […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for UK electoral commission urges eligible expats to register for EU referendum vote

UK electoral commission urges eligible expats to register for EU referendum vote

February 5, 2016 European Union

British expats around the world are being reminded that if they have been away for less than 15 years they are eligible to vote in the UK’s European Union referendum which could be held as soon as this summer. Expats, especially those living in Europe, but also those further afield in Australia and Canada, have […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Number of EU citizens moving to work in UK up by almost 20%

Number of EU citizens moving to work in UK up by almost 20%

December 1, 2015 European Union

People from European Union countries moving to the UK are increasingly finding jobs, indicating the myth that they are moving to the country for the social benefits is off the mark. The latest official figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that while the number of EU citizens working in the UK has […]

Read the full article →