What Happens To Ex-Pats in EU Countries If UK Leaves the EU?

What Happens To Ex-Pats in EU Countries If UK Leaves the EU?Let’s start with the statements from the Exit camp, Boris Johnson being a prime example. Writing in his column in the Daily Telegraph he carefully explains why ex-pats will not have to worry about voting to leave the EU. They were not cutting the branch they were sitting on because:

“It is now obvious that the Remain campaign is intended to provoke only one emotion in the breast of the British public and that is fear.”

Feel better now? Whatever someone from the Remain camp says, no matter how factually correct it is, will be just to frighten you. Watch out for this same argument being parroted by the Exit supporters. Don’t expect any factual basis for their position, just a regular chant of ‘it’ll stop the immigrants’, ‘we’ll be in charge of our own country’, ‘we’ll be economically better off’. They will sound just like the salespeople they are, blinding you with science and slogans.

I wait to be corrected of course. Here are some of the reasons given for ex-pats to vote to stay in the EU.

‘Britons living on the continent may lose a range of specific rights that are only guaranteed because of EU law. These include the rights to live and work but also access to pensions, health care and public service. There would be no requirement under EU law for these rights to be maintained if the UK left the EU. Should an agreement be reached to maintain these rights, the expectation must be that this would have to be reciprocated for EU citizens in the UK.’

But then this is from the Cabinet Office of the stay camp government, so they would say that as would David Lidington, Europe minister who said that the British exit could also prevent UK citizens from moving abroad.

‘Everything we take for granted about access to the single market – trade taking place without customs checks or paperwork at national frontiers, the right of British citizens to go and live in Spain or France – those would all be up in the air. It is massive. It is massive what is at risk.’

George Peretz QC, an expert on EU law, said that UK citizens might lose much more than their rights to French state health services.

‘UK citizens would lose their EU law rights to work, to set up a business, to buy property, to bring family to live with them, not to be deported for trivial offences and so on. France might let them do all those things. But that would be entirely up to France.’

Let me remind those of you who won’t read this and are for leaving the EU, obviously this comment is for those who are reading this, this article is about the 1.2 million ex-pats living in the EU. I’m sure that there will be plenty of comments from those who won’t realise that and instead will write about how wonderful it will be for Britain, but that’s not the point. Anyway, the result of the referendum will not be about what is good for us as individuals, it’ll be about what is good for politicians and business people. You’ll notice that despite there being austerity imposed on Britain at the moment it doesn’t appear to include them. How stupid some people are! What a mess!

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3 comments to What Happens To Ex-Pats in EU Countries If UK Leaves the EU?

  • fluter

    Are those YOUR words Dominic? Or are you quoting from somewhere or somebody else?

  • Dominic Freeman

    Fluter, a mixture of sources meant to stimulate discussion in the run up to the referendum.

  • fluter