British nationals living on mainland Europe remain concerned that their long term residency status and freedom of movement rights are still up in the air, but does this uncertainty make the idea of moving to the continent less appealing?
The answer appears to be no, as official figures are indicating that there is an ongoing flurry of applications from Britons wanting to emigrate to mainland Europe. The draw of better weather and a cheaper cost of living still seems strong, and it looks as though there’s a rush to be in situ by the time Britain formally leaves the EU at the end of March 2019. Many who voted to remain have publicly declared they don’t want to stay in a country that voted to leave the EU.
These people are voting with their feet in spite of a lack of official announcements about whether some or all Brits living in the EU will need to apply for status similar to that unveiled by the Government for European nationals wanting to stay in the UK. In March 2018 a grace period was agreed though, which will allow British nationals living in Europe to continue as they are until the end of 2020.
Many expats have been vocal about their worries for the future because of the current lack of information, saying they are “the forgotten victims of Brexit”. In July 2018 the Brexit select committee urged EU leaders to reassure Britons in Europe that they will be able to continue living, working and moving freely as they do now, even if a no-deal Brexit becomes a reality.
The appetite for Britons wanting to move to Europe remains, but it will be interesting to see whether the figures from April 2019 will indicate the same hunger. Brexit Decoded will keep you up to date with all the latest developments as they happen.