British expats in a post-#Brexit EU: What now?

British expats in a post-#Brexit EU: What now?

The UK has voted to leave the EU and Brexit talks have begun. But what about the fate of British expats in Europe. What will happen to them? What are the current plans for them, asks Martin Banks?

Those among the estimated 1.8 million expat Britons who have lived on mainland Europe for 15 years or more were denied a vote in the UK general election on 8 June.

But, if Britons living in the EU were angry about not voting in the election (or the EU referendum last year that will take the UK out of the EU), can you imagine how they feel about possibly being denied their democratic rights once again?

That is precisely what many of the British expats in Belgium and throughout Europe fear when the UK finally leaves.

One of the most important yet most difficult aspects of Brexit will be sorting out what happens to UK citizens in other EU states (as well as EU citizens from other member states currently in the UK).

We’ve known for a while that citizens’ status is going to be one of the first topics tackled in the upcoming negotiations. But what is not known yet is just how complex such a process will be.

Around three million EU citizens, many of them Poles, currently live in the UK. They have to go through a lengthy 85-page application process in order to become a permanent British citizen, and the number doing so has reportedly soared since Britain voted to leave in June last year.

More of the article here…

Brexit talks begin as expats in Spain urge No.10 to protect existing rights

Brexit talks begin as expats in Spain urge No.10 to protect existing rights

THE rights of 1.2 million Brits living in the EU and three million EU citizens in the UK must be ‘the highest priority’ in Brexit negotiations, campaigners have said.

British In Europe urged Brexit Secretary David Davis to protect expats currently living ‘in limbo’ by securing a deal on existing rights.

Landmark talks on Britain leaving the EU began on Monday, with the rights of British and EU citizens abroad high on the list of priorities.

EU negotiators have told British In Europe, a coalition which includes campaign groups in Spain, that current citizens’ rights should remain unchanged.

Read more…


Bremain BrexElection Briefing 7

Bremain BrexElection Briefing 7

 Welcome to our final Briefing. We have some really interesting stories that you will not have seen on the Bremain site.  To whet your appetite “Confessions of a Canvasser” is a MUST read!


Jeremy Corbyn breaks post-attack truce Labour leader says Theresa May trying to ‘protect public on the cheap.’

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Prime Minister Theresa May of attempting to “protect the public on the cheap” by cutting police budgets and promised more police officers and a pay rise for those already serving, in his first speech since Saturday’s London terror attack.  Speaking Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after three attackers killed seven and injured dozens in central London,…….” (Charlie Cooper Politico 4 June)

Theresa May, you need personality to play personality politics.

The Tories tried to make this General Election about personalities rather than policies. And it’s starting to backfire. On what planet did anyone at Conservative Party HQ think that would be a good idea when their leader has the emotional intelligence of the Terminator? (Kae Kurd iNews 5 June)


Invisible Election

Invisible election: The online battle for General Election votes.

Hundreds of people tell Sky the three main parties are using “dark ads” and the internet to secretly target voters. The parties are using data and targeted digital ads as never before as we enter the home straight in this General Election. Hundreds of voters across the country have participated in Sky News’ Invisible Election Project seeking to understand how – and by who – “dark ads” that are not normally visible elsewhere are being used. (Faisal Islam Political Editor Sky News 6 June)


Confessions of a canvasser: Facing down dogs, nudity and Oliver Cromwell.

To the ordinary citizen, especially in a marginal constituency, the ritual of door-knocking before an election can be tiring. They never seem to knock when you’re at a loss for something to do. It’s always as we’re chopping carrots, about to walk the dog, watching a movie. But spare a thought for those who are doing the canvassing, walking the streets of this nation and braving every driveway, no matter how many protective dogs may lie in wait, all in the name of democracy.  (Karl McDonald iNews 7 June)


How do you beat a rival 70 times richer than you? Inside Labour’s cash-strapped campaign

For every pound donated to Labour, someone handed the Tories £70. In the first two weeks of the general election campaign, the Conservatives raised £4,388,000 in individual donations. The Lib Dems raised £340,000, and Labour raised £61,300. In other words, for every pound donated to Labour, someone handed the Tories £70. (Julia Rampen New Statesman 7 June)


Britain goes to the polls 104 years to the day since suffragette Emily Davison died for the right to vote.

Organisers of the Women’s March London, which led thousands in the UK capital on a demonstration on Donald Trump’s inauguration day, wrote on Twitter: “104 years ago today. Emily Wilding Davison dies in the struggle to win women the vote. Use it.” Emily Davison died after blocking the path of King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby on June 4, 1913. (Eleanor Rose Evening Standard 8 June)


Both parties are glad we’re not grilling them on economic policy.

The shadow of the financial crisis still hangs over us. We have had the lowest earnings growth and lowest interest rates in, very nearly, recorded history. We have suffered a long-term squeeze on public spending and still face a national debt which has more than doubled since 2008. And with Brexit on the way, we are layering a big dose of economic uncertainty on top. (Paul Johnson Evening Standard 8 June)  



The result is objectively hilarious – but we should still be angry at the Tories for screwing things up, again.

Whatever happened to the national interest? I’m not sure, if I’m honest, which was my favourite moment of last night. The exit poll: that was good, obviously, and a much needed corrective to the trauma of 2015, when at least one member of the NS politics team literally screamed. Last night, by contrast, there was singing. (John Elledge New Statesman 9 June)


The Conservatives will pay a steep price for relying on the DUP The much-maligned Northern Irish party’s positions defy stereotype, and could incur the wrath of Tory backbenchers – derailing May’s Brexit plans….The DUP were among the most enthusiastic advocates for Brexit, but that is not to say they share the priorities of the hard leave wing of the parliamentary Tory party. (Patrick Maguire New Statesman 9 June)

No glee in Brussels as May’s General Election gamble backfires backfires. Almost exactly a year after the EU referendum, no one in Europe is remotely clear on what sort of Brexit Britain wants. From the EU perspective, a strong UK government was the desired outcome. They were relatively agnostic about what colour the government was. But the consensus has been that a strong UK government would have reduced the chances of domestic UK bickering and increased the chances of a deal acceptable for both sides. (Mark Stone Europe Correspondent Sky News 10 June) Save Save



‘A less hard Brexit’: Brits in Spain react to UK election result

‘A less hard Brexit’: Brits in Spain react to UK election result

Spain’s prime minister welcomed Theresa May’s victory, while left-wing politicians congratulated Jeremy Corbyn on his astounding result. Meanwhile British residents in Spain hoped the result would signal a softer stance on Brexit.

Spanish Prime Minister congratulated May on “her electoral victory” and said “we will continue to work for a fruitful relationship in the interest of the people”.

Spain has its own experience of a hung parliament and the difficulties that brings in forming a government.

Mariano Rajoy finally secured a minority government in September 2016 after ten long months of political deadlock and two general elections failed to give him majority rule.

The British election results competed with news of Spain’s own looming troubles, as Catalonia’s president announced plans to hold a referendum on independence for the region in October.

Those on the left in Spain, including Pedro Sanchez, the leader of Spain’s Socialists (PSOE)  and Pablo Iglesias were quick to congratulate Britain’s Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who defied critics and vicious personal attacks in the press to gain seats.

Read more here…


Británicos sin voto: la ‘diáspora’ que se quedará fuera de las elecciones del ‘brexit’

Británicos sin voto: la ‘diáspora’ que se quedará fuera de las elecciones del ‘brexit’

Los expatriados que llevan más de 15 años en el extranjero no pueden votar. ¿Miles, cientos de miles, tal vez más…? La cifra de afectados por la restricción es una incógnita.

Rebecca Wey es británica, el brexit amenaza con truncar su vida y, sin embargo, no tiene derecho a participar en las elecciones que Reino Unido celebra el jueves para elegir a los encargados de guiarlo hacia lo desconocido. Del mismo modo, el año pasado observó cómo sus compatriotas se pronunciaban a favor de salir de la UE sin poder alzar la voz. La razón: lleva más de 15 años en España, es decir, fuera de Reino Unido, y las normas electorales le impiden votar.

See full story here



NHS could face £1bn Brexit bill for treating expats, health think tank warns

NHS could face £1bn Brexit bill for treating expats, health think tank warns

The price of NHS treatment for tens of thousands of British pensioners returning to the UK from Spain, France and other EU countries after Brexit will hit a billion pounds, experts have warned.

Shortages of NHS and social care staff and extra charges for new drugs are likely to hike costs for the health service even higher when Britain leaves the EU, according to a new report from health think tank the Nuffield Trust.

The Department of Health currently spends around £500m on a scheme that allows some 190,000 pensioners to access free or reduced-cost medical treatment in EU countries.

However, it is unlikely this reciprocal arrangement will be kept after Brexit, meaning the NHS will face a bill of almost £1bn in total – double the current outlay. There will also be severe pressure on hospital beds, as the health service struggles to cope with the extra patients, and a shortage of staff, said researcher Mark Dayan.

Mr Dayan told The Independent the situation for the NHS after Brexit will be “difficult”, adding that the total cost faced by the health service could be even higher if Brexit causes an economic slowdown that impacts on public finances.

A bigger problem than the costs is “the need for additional staff and hospital beds”, he said. “You can’t just turn on a tap and produce these things. They’re limited resources and are already overstretched in the NHS.”

“The impact of staffing shortages, which we already have and could worsen after Brexit if handled badly, are that some places won’t have enough staff to operate safely, or agency staff will have to be brought in at high rate, which will make the NHS’s financial position even worse.”

Read full story…