This Thursday, June 23, 2016, the British voted for the UK to leave the European Union. Poll results published this Friday, June 24 show 51.9% of votes in favor the exit from the EU, that is a total of 17,410,742 votes. However, the future is still uncertain, not only in economic and politic terms, but also for migration.
The number of British expats living in European countries is estimated at 1.3 million. Most of them live in Spain, Ireland, France and Germany.
What consequences can the Brexit have on these expats?
First of all, as a consequence of the Brexit, British nationals may now need a visa to travel within the EU and a work permit to be eligible for employment.
Before that, they were allowed to travel and work in any of these countries with their identity documents only (identity card, valid passport). Note that till now only 44 countries worldwide have applied the visa requirement to British nationals.
Another main potential consequence is international mobility within the EU. The Erasmus program is a great example. Each year since 1987, around 30 000 British students benefit from this program. British students planning to study abroad individually could also be penalized for the loss of their status as EU nationals.
As far as British pensioners are concerned, they are worried for their purchasing power and investments. The pound sterling has indeed fallen since the start of the poll.
Health insurance issues may also be a major concern, particularly in in the case of bilateral agreements providing medical coverage to British expats such as in France.
If you are a British expat living abroad, how do you think it can impact on your expat life?
Thank you in advance for your contribution.