How are British expats affected by Brexit?
According to the United Nations, 1.3 million Britons live in Europe and the Brexit ultimatum is causing unrest. The referendum has worried large flocks of British expats, because of the uncertainty and lack of clarity which surrounds the departure from Europe.
So what are the possible implications for expats living on the continent?
Former attorney general, Dominic Grieve QC, expressed that Brexit would result in British citizens “becoming illegal immigrants overnight. If Britain doesn’t maintain some form of free movement after Brexit.”
Additional anxiety circles the idea that EU states will be angered by the Brexit decision. Therefore they could put pressure on British expats in revenge. UK retirees living in Spain, could be forced into paying for their own healthcare, or be cut from access to healthcare altogether.
A shared hope is that expats will be able to secure their continued right to work, reside and own property in EU states. In addition to access to public services, such as medical treatment. Unfortunately for Britons in Europe, these rights can not be guaranteed yet.
Is it all doom and gloom for UK citizens who live in Europe?
Britain will remain in the EU for at least another year, while the terms of the UK’s exit are negotiated under article 50. This means that any British expats will still be entitled to the same rights as any other EU citizen, while the discussions are ongoing.
The BBC reported that UK expats will be able to maintain the ownership of their properties in Europe. The problems are most likely to be associated with alterations in inheritance and tax laws.
Who will be affected?
Pensioners account for the greatest numbers of British expats living within EU countries. Many of the demographic rely on their pension incomes to enjoy life in the Mediterranean sunshine. Any fluctuations in currency could jeopardise the pension totals.
Another fear is that state pensions will lose the current protection they receive from being within the European Economic Area. The decision could potentially be made to freeze pensions, like expats currently residing in Canada.
What do we know for sure?
The future of how British expats will be impacted by Brexit is still largely unknown. But we believe that an increasing number of indicators will start to develop as the negotiations continue.
In the meantime, if you are an expat pensioner, there is a strong chance that you could be entitled to a pot full of unclaimed money. According to findmylostpension.com, a quarter of unclaimed UK pensions belong to expats. The valuations range from £2,000 to £30,000 per year, and there are tax-free lump sums of up to £40,000.
If you would like to search for any lost assets. Monimine.com allows you to search for unclaimed money for free. If the details you enter, match with the records we have acquired from financial institutions, we can reunite you with your money.
Josh Cousens – Monimine.