Opinion | What Happens to Ex-Pats if UK Leaves the EU?

Opinion - What Happens to Ex-Pats if UK Leaves the EU?Opinion – What Happens to Ex-Pats if UK Leaves the EU?

There was a welter of letters in our morning paper following Cameron’s defeat rout over Juncker. As they said, a small illustration of what it would be like on the outside – isolated, ignored, impotent. Not that he’s done a lot better from the inside; he’s so bloody divisive and confrontational – and picking rows with the wrong people – we just need rid of him – pdq. I had a couple of thoughts about leaving the EU:

1. If – and I think it will happen – we do leave the EU, when it all goes wrong, and we have millions out of work (remember the way our industries were in meltdown in the 70s, when we joined?) who will UKIP blame then? Not themselves, that’s for sure!!

2. If we do leave, the EU aren’t going to be happy, in case others head the same way. I can see them making an example of us, and refusing a trade deal. After all, who would gain from a trade deal? Not the EU – us. And the EU Parliament won’t want to be seen to be helping us once we’ve left, logically, certainly not in the short to medium term.

Already, UKIP’s crowing over the extra support they’ve got on the back of the Juncker defeat. Yet I know a lot of people who are horrified by the prospect of UKIP success. But I had another thought, too.

We have a helluva lot of ex-pats living in e.g. Cyprus, Spain and France. If we leave the EU, they’ll be in a completely different situation, won’t they? Will they be able still to get their pensions from here? And free healthcare where they live? I doubt it! And they could well need visas. From my observations, an awful lot of ex-pats whinge and rant about the EU, but the reality of leaving hasn’t hit them, yet, I’ll warrant! Will they want to sell up and come back? I doubt it – but I’ll bet they’d have to!

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