Brexit – News and Updates
Brexit will affect every single one of us. News stories and updates will be posted here.
Britains time in the EU is running out
You can use this tool to check a passport for travel to Europe.
SCHENGEN VISA CALCULATOR
For visa-free visitors, duration of stay in the Schengen countries is up to 90 days over 180 days in retrospect. If you frequently visit these countries, in order to avoid a nightmare you have to check whether you have violated the EU requirement for a maximum of 90 days, considering the last 180 days.
Overstaying Schengen visa can result in a number of consequences: unpleasant interviews, fines, deportation, entry ban. You can get the most accurate and updated information about these from your consular and immigration lawyers.
User’s guide – the visa calculator
17th October – New Brexit deal agreed, says Boris Johnson
A Brexit deal has been agreed between UK and EU negotiating teams before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control.”
The two sides have been working on the legal text of a deal, but it will still need the approval of both the UK and European parliaments.
The DUP has cast doubt on its success, saying they still cannot support it.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the deal sounded “even worse” than what was negotiated by the PM’s predecessor, Theresa May, and “should be rejected” by MPs.
But European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said it was a “fair and balanced agreement”.
In a letter recommending the deal to European Council President Donald Tusk, he wrote: “It is high time to complete the withdrawal process and move on, as swiftly as possible, to the negotiation on the European Union’s future partnership with the United Kingdom.”
Both he and Mr Johnson have urged their respective parliaments to back the deal.
11th October –‘ ‘Thisis an exciting time’, UK minister tells Brits in Spain as Brexit looms
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has written an open letter to anxious Brits in Spain telling them that “this is an exciting time” as he urges them to prepare for Brexit.
His letter reads like a set of demands for Brits in Spain – “you’ll need”, “you must”, “you should” – in return for only vague promises about UK nationals’ rights in their host country post-2020.
Although Raab assures his target audience that in the event of a no-deal Brexit they will continue to have access to healthcare in Spain “exactly as you do now, until at least 31 December 2020 if you are an S1 form holder”, there is no mention of the worry and anxiety that’s been caused to them over the past three years, or what is likely to happen to their healthcare after that date.
Instead the UK Foreign Secretary repeats much of what’s already been announced by the British Embassy in Spain, choosing to round off his impersonal letter by saying
“This is an exciting time, but also one of unprecedented change”.
“We’re getting ready for Brexit on 31 October, and I would urge you to do the same”.
Read more here
10th October – Update for use of the EHIC card and S1 form (Healthcare in Spain after Brexit)
The UK and Spain have each taken steps to ensure that people living in each country can continue to access healthcare as they do now until at least 31 December 2020. This means that if you are currently living in Spain and the UK currently pays for your healthcare, for example you are an S1 form holder, your healthcare access will remain the same after 31 October 2019 until at least 31 December 2020.
UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) holders in Spain, such as tourists, students and some workers, will also be able to continue to access healthcare in the same way until at least 31 December 2020.
If you’re an S1 form holder, you are currently entitled to a UK-issued EHIC for use when you’re travelling outside of Spain. This may not be accepted in all EU countries if there’s a no-deal Brexit. Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance.
Spanish legislation guarantees the right to healthcare for all workers registered in the Spanish social security system, even if there’s a no-deal Brexit. If you’re working in Spain, you may have a Spanish-issued EHIC. This will continue to be accepted in other EU countries and the UK.
2nd September – BREXPAT BONANZA Retired Brits living in Europe will get £200 annual Brexit boost to their pensions — even with No Deal.
The promised raise quashes scare stories that 500,000 expats would lose out under a No Deal.
Today Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd guarantees to increase payments by using the triple lock. Her staff will text OAPs in countries including Spain, France, Portugal and Cyprus to reassure them their rights will be protected.
The move was signed off after being blocked by previous Chancellor Philip Hammond.
Read more HERE
28th August – Parliament will be suspended just days after MPs return to work in September – and only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline.
Boris Johnson said a Queen’s Speech would take place after the suspension, on 14 October, to outline his “very exciting agenda”.
But it means the time MPs have to pass laws to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October would be cut.
House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said it was a “constitutional outrage”.
The Speaker, who does not traditionally comment on political announcements, continued: “However it is dressed up, it is blindingly obvious that the purpose of [suspending Parliament] now would be to stop [MPs] debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country.”
It has now been approved, allowing the government to suspend Parliament no earlier than Monday 9 September and no later than Thursday 12 September, until Monday 14 October. Read the full story here at BBC news.
28 August – Government issues guidelines on healthcare after Brexit
f you are travelling to any country in the EU, or to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland before or after Brexit, you should:
- get travel insurance to cover the duration of your trip
- speak to your doctor and insurance provider before you travel if you have a pre-existing health condition
European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC)
UK-issued EHICs will remain valid until the UK leaves the EU, or if your treatment started before exit day.
Your EHIC may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit. Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice or NHS country guides for the latest information on the country you plan to visit.
13 July – Residency after Brexit
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, any UK national arriving in Spain before the end of the implementation period will be able to register as resident in Spain under the current rules, and will have their right to residence in Spain protected for as long as they remain living here.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, any UK national residing in Spain before the date the UK leaves will be considered legally resident for a period of 21 months, irrespective of whether they currently hold a residency document. You will however have to prove by means of Padron and other supporting documentation that you have been residing in Spain prior to a no deal exit.
How to apply for Residencia HERE
9th July – Owning a Second home in the EU27 after Brexit
The House of commons have issued an update about owning a property in the EU after Brexit. In the absence of EU law, property rights are addressed by domestic law in the Member States. You can read the full statement HERE
10th April – Date to leave has now been delayed until 31st October.
4th April – EU votes to allow Britons into Europe without a visa for 90 days under No Deal Brexit – if Europeans have the same right in UK
Millions of Brits will be able to head to the Mediterranean for their summer holidays without needing a visa even if there is a No Deal Brexit.
This includes popular holiday destinations like Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Malta and France which are visited by huge numbers of UK tourists every year.
Implementation will depend on Britain granting EU citizens the same rights in return, but London has said it will do so and the principle of the law has broad support. Read the full story at DailyMail
4th April – MPs back delay bill by one vote
MPs have voted by a majority of one to force the prime minister to ask for an extension to the Brexit process, in a bid to avoid any no-deal scenario.
The bill, put forward by Labour’s Yvette Cooper, was passed by the Commons in just one day.
However, it will need to be approved by the Lords before it becomes law. It would also still be for the EU to decide whether to grant any extension.
The vote comes after Theresa May met Jeremy Corbyn for talks on Brexit.
The discussions between the leaders, who are trying to find agreement on a way forward, were described as “constructive”, but Mr Corbyn added that they were “inconclusive”. Read the full story at BBCNews.com
30th March -Theresa May ponders fourth bid to pass deal
Theresa May and her cabinet are looking for ways to bring her EU withdrawal agreement back to the Commons for a fourth attempt at winning MPs’ backing.
The PM said the UK would need “an alternative way forward” after her plan was defeated by 58 votes on Friday.
MPs from all parties will test support for other options during a second round of “indicative votes” on Monday. Read the full story here at BBC.com
29th March -Brexit: MPs reject May’s EU withdrawal agreement
MPs have rejected Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement on the day the UK was due to leave the EU.
The government lost by 344 votes to 286, a margin of 58.
It means the UK has missed an EU deadline to delay Brexit to 22 May and leave with a deal.
The prime minister said the UK would have to find “an alternative way forward”, which was “almost certain” to involve holding European elections. Read more here at BBC.com
26th March The government has officially responded to the record-breaking petition calling for Brexit to be cancelled, which will be debated by MPs next week.
The petition, which has passed more than 5.75m signatures, has been scheduled for debate on Monday, 1 April along with two other Brexit petitions.
Responding, the government said it “acknowledges the considerable number of people” who have signed it.
24th March UK Gov Updates -Air services from the EU to the UK in the event of ‘no deal’
UK position on reciprocity of rights for airlines from EU countries, and the basis on which flights will continue in the event of ‘no deal’
Full details here on the UK.Gov Website
22nd March – EU leaders agree Article 50 delay plan
EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the Article 50 process, postponing Brexit beyond 29 March.
The UK will be offered a delay until 22 May, if MPs approve the withdrawal deal negotiated with the EU next week.
If they do not, the EU will back a shorter delay until 12 April, allowing the UK time to get the deal through or to “indicate a way forward”.
Mrs May said there was now a “clear choice” facing UK MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week. Read the full story here at www.bbc.com
Reacting to tonight’s vote in the House of Commons, an EU spokesperson has said: “There are only two ways to leave the EU: with or without a deal.”
“To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal — you have to agree to a deal,” the spokesperson said.
“We have agreed a deal with the Prime Minister and the EU is ready to sign it.”
The spokesperson added the EU is prepared for both a deal and no-deal Brexit.
13th March 2019 – British lawmakers voted against Britain leaving the EU without a deal under any circumstances
British Prime Minister Theresa May has reiterated to MPs that while they have voted to reject a no-deal Brexit, it remains the default option if the UK cannot reach a deal with the EU.
“The legal default in EU and UK law is that the UK will leave without a deal unless something else is agreed,” May said. “The onus is now on every one of us in this House to find out what that is.”
May added that lawmakers will have the chance to vote on Thursday over whether to request an extension to Article 50.
The Prime Minister said if MPs can support a deal “in the coming days,” it will allow the government to seek a short delay to Brexit. However, if parliament cannot agree upon a deal May has warned that the delay will have to be longer.
“Such an extension would undoubtedly require the UK to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019,” May said. “I do not think that would be the right outcome. But the House needs to face up to the consequences of the decisions it has taken.”
12th March 2019 – Brexit: MPs reject Theresa May’s deal by 149 votes
Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU withdrawal deal has been rejected by MPs for a second time, throwing her Brexit strategy into further confusion.
MPs voted down her deal by 391 to 242 – a smaller defeat than when they rejected it in January.
The PM said MPs will now get a vote on whether the UK should leave without a deal on 29 March and, if that fails, on whether Brexit should be delayed.
She said Tory MPs will get a free vote on a no-deal Brexit.
1st March 2019 – Spain plans to grant residency to 400,000 Britons if there is a hard Brexit
The Spanish government will work to make things easier for British residents in Spain, even those without permanent residency status, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Madrid is planning to offer new residency papers to around 400,000 UK nationals if their country crashes out of the European Union without an agreement on the future relationship.
All decisions that prolong the current status enjoyed by British citizens and businesses in Spain are made on condition that the UK will reciprocate with similar measures for Spanish residents in Britain.
As for British residents in Spain, they will have to apply for a foreigner identity card before January 2021 to prove their legal residency status. For those who already have permanent residency, “the process will be nearly automatic.” For the others, there will be additional steps to take. The government estimates that around 400,000 people will receive new documents, on top of the 300,000 or so who are already registered. Read the full story here in elpais.com
26th February -Theresa May offers MPs chance to delay Brexit:
Theresa May offers MPs chance to vote on delaying Article 50 if no deal agreed with EU.
Theresa May has told MPs that parliament will be given a vote on whether or not to opt for a no-deal Brexit if her proposed withdrawal plan is rejected next month.
The prime minister said that, if MPs again vote down her proposed deal, the Commons will be given a say on whether to approve or reject a no-deal outcome. If they choose to reject it, another vote would be held on whether to extend the Article 50 period.
Ms May was responding to numerous Remain-backing ministers threatening to quit if she failed to give parliament the right to block a no-deal Brexit.
She insisted she did not want to see Article 50 extended and refused to be drawn on how long any extension might be, saying only that she would want it to be “as short as possible”. She also declined to say how Tory MPs would be ordered to vote on the matter of whether to accept a no-deal Brexit or delay leaving the EU.
22nd February -UK driving licences will not be valid in Ireland under no-deal Brexit
British licence holders living in Ireland would need to get Irish licences before 29 March
reland will no longer recognise the UK driving licences of people living in Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Road Safety Authority of Ireland, a state agency, said this week a mutual recognition agreement would end and that holders of British licences would need to swap them for Irish licences before the UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March.
“In the event of a no-deal Brexit the driving licence of a UK licence holder living here in Ireland will not be recognised and the driver will not be able to continue to drive here in Ireland on that licence,” the National Driver Licence Service, which issues permits, said in a statement.
“The advice to such drivers is that they should exchange their UK driving licence for an Irish driving licence before the 29 March 2019. Under current arrangements a UK licence holder resident here in Ireland has an entitlement to make such an exchange.” Continue reading here in the GUARDIAN
21st February – Greece Announces Full Protection of Britons’ Rights in Case of No-Deal Brexit
Greece’s Foreign Minister George Katrougalos sent an official letter to his British counterpart Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday. In it, the foreign minister informed Great Britain of Greece’s stance in case the UK leaves the European Union on March 29 without an agreement with Brussels.
Katrougalos wrotethat the best way for Great Britain to leave the EU would be with an agreement which would secure an orderly exit, without major disruptions.
However, if this does not happen, Katrougalos’ letter notes that ”Greek and UK citizens who chose to live, study and work in each others’ countries will continue to do so without obstacles.” The official correspondence also notes that they “will fully enjoy similar, if not identical, rights as before the British withdrawal.”
He reassured them that ”their rights will be fully recognized and guaranteed, in line with the reciprocity offered by the UK to EU citizens.” read the full story at Greek Reporter
20th February – Britons may need £52 visa to visit mainland Europe after Brexit
Visa-free travel plan derailed again by Spanish demands over status of Gibraltar as reported by THE GUARDIAN
British tourists travelling to continental Europe may need to pay £52 for a visa in a few weeks after Spanish demands over the status of Gibraltar again derailed Brussels’ preparations for Brexit.
Agreement on legislation exempting UK nationals from requiring the travel permit is mired in a dispute over whether the British overseas territory should be described as a “colony” in the EU’s statute book.
Spain has insisted, with the reluctant support of the other 26 member states, that a footnote containing the contentious description of the disputed territory is added to the legislation.
But on Wednesday morning the European parliament rejected the language proposed by the council of the European Union, the body that represents the member states. continue reading here in the GUARDIAN
Package holiday firms could ask you to pay more after booking if Brexit increases costs
Holidaymakers who’ve booked packages with at least seven major travel firms could have to pay a surcharge of up to 8% if Brexit significantly increases costs. But other firms are making ‘Brexit promises’ to customers to protect them from hikes.
Under package holiday regulations, companies are allowed to hike prices after a customer has booked if they warn they may do so in their terms and conditions, and if the increase is to offset changes to exchange rates, fuel costs, taxes or fees. This is often called a ‘surcharge’ in the T&Cs. Firms can pass on increases of up to 8% without allowing you to cancel penalty-free, so families on more expensive holidays could have to pay £100s extra…. Continue reading HERE
UPDATE ON SPANISH NO-DEAL CONTINGENCY PLANS FOR UK RESIDENTS (Supplied by Michael Harris):
On Wednesday 6 February, representatives of EuroCitizens met civil servants from the Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry and Presidencia. A law (decreto ley) with full details to enable measures to be put into place in the event of a hard Brexit will not be passed until the beginning of March. However, we received clarification about key points of the Spanish government’s no-deal plans for British residents in Spain. The government aims to make our transition from EU citizens to third-country nationals as simple as possible, though everything will be conditional on reciprocity and the UK government’s treatment of Spanish citizens in the UK.
1. A generous ‘period of grace’ for registration
Sufficient time will be given, in the event of a hard Brexit, for UK residents to register as third-country nationals. The length of this ‘transition’ period is not definite yet, but it will be sufficient and will also depend on the effective date on which the UK leaves the EU.
2. How to register as a third-country national
a) Information for registered Britons:
After 29/03/19 your existing EU document (your registration certificate or residence card as a family member of an EU citizen) will continue to be valid until the end of the period of grace even though you are no longer an EU citizen. During this period, you will have to apply for new third-country ID, a Tarjeta de Identificación de Extranjeros (TIE). The procedure for granting this new status will be ‘practically automatic’ for legally resident UK citizens. Both the long transition period and the simplified nature of the process are similar to the contingency measures of other EU 27 countries which is promising, though we will need to see all the details: the application form, the cost, help provided for vulnerable groups etc. Our interlocutors at the ministries also promised that extra resources would be allotted to immigration staff (at oficinas de extranjería and comisarias) in provinces with large British populations.
b) Information for non-registered Britons resident before Brexit:
If you and all your family members are not yet registered, eg if you have recently arrived, you should immediately apply at a foreigner’s office (oficina de extranjería) or police station (comisaría) for an EU citizen’s resident document. If you have been unable to formally submit your application or have not been given an appointment before the withdrawal date, eg, your appointment is given after that date, there will be a specific process for applying for the new third-country ID during the period of grace, as long as you can prove that you were residing in Spain before the 29 March.
So to sum up:
– If you apply for your EU citizen’s resident document before 29 March (or the effective date on which the UK leaves the EU), your application will be considered under the same conditions as current legal UK residents.
– If you are resident but have been unable to formally apply for an EU citizen’s resident document before 29 March (or the effective date on which the UK leaves the UE), you will have to apply directly for the new third-country ID during the period of grace. However, the requirements stipulated by the new law, (that enables no-deal Brexit measures in Spain), will be similar to those for an EU citizen. Your application will be processed through a specific process which will be less demanding than the general residence process for all other third-country nationals.
In all of the above situations, during the period of grace, your residence in Spain will be considered legal.
c) Britons arriving in Spain after Brexit day:
Applications for people arriving after 29 March will be processed in the same way as those for all other third-country nationals, with the corresponding requirements which are considerably more demanding than those for EU citizens, especially for non-working people. It is also important to point out that, if the UK leaves the EU with no agreement, British citizens who are not registered as residents will, like all other third-country nationals, only be allowed to spend 90 days in any one six-month period and that their exit and entry will be controlled at ports and airports to enforce this.
3. New documentation
Your new ID card (TIE) will be biometric and will be valid throughout Spain and for travel within the EU-27 along with a passport. The document will accredit your status as legally-resident third-country nationals (under the régimen general de extranjeros as opposed to our current situation under the régimen de ciudadanos de la UE). If you have more than five years of legal residence, you will be able to get long-term residence (residencia de larga duración). If you have less than five years legal residence, you will be able to apply, under the same conditions, for long-term residence after Brexit once you have completed five years residence.
4. Working after Brexit
If you are employed (por cuenta ajena) or self-employed (por cuenta propia), you will be able to continue working as now. If you have exercised a profession using UK qualifications before 29/03/19, you will be able to continue to do so. If you are a Spanish civil servant (funcionario) with British nationality, you will be able to continue your employment even though you are no longer an EU citizen.
5. Social security coordination
On 30 March, automatic coordination of social security between the UK and the EU will end. Thus there will have to be a new bilateral agreement covering this area between Spain and the UK or between de the EU and the UK. This would enable existing social security rights and aggregated pensions to be recognised for Spaniards in the UK and Britons in Spain.
The existing S1 scheme and EHIC card will also stop automatically in the event of a hard Brexit. A new agreement between Spain and the UK will have to be reached which reflects the true costs of the healthcare for the roughly 77,000 British UK pensioners in Spain compared with the mere hundreds of Spanish pensioners in Britain (to maintain access to public health for UK nationals as now).
One of the most difficult things to deal with for UK residents since the Brexit vote has been the lack of certainty about our futures. Now at least we know that, despite a Brexit cliff-edge, in Spain there will be a lengthy transition period and potentially simple administrative procedures to enable us to bridge the sad transition from European citizens to third-country nationals. We would like to thank again the civil servants who met us on 6 February, worked with us on this document and indeed who have engaged fully with us since the triggering of Article 50 nearly two years ago.
19th February – Motorists may need to acquire a car insurance ‘green card’ before travelling legally in Europe post-Brexit.
Post-Brexit motorists may need to acquire a car insurance ‘green card’ to be allowed to drive legally in Europe.
This will be in addition to the International Driving Permit (IDP) that motorists will also be required to have.
Current EU laws allow British motorists to mostly drive in Europe with their UK insurance documentation, as long as you carry it with you when you’re abroad however, when the UK leaves the EU it is incredibly likely that motorists will be required to obtain an insurance green card to remain legal across Europe.
These documents are provided by the insurer and convey whether or not the driver in question has sufficient cover for driving abroad. Source & details from Express
18th February – Brexit: Will Britons living in the EU still get healthcare?
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, reciprocal healthcare arrangements will not automatically survive. The UK is trying to reach agreements with EU governments to extend them.
For emergency treatment on holiday, UK nationals can use their EHIC card if they fall ill in another EU country, but if there is a no-deal Brexit it will no longer be valid and they will need travel insurance.
If the UK leaves the EU with Theresa May’s deal, after 29 March 2019 UK nationals in EU countries would continue to receive state healthcare on the same terms until the end of the transition period. Under the current plan the transition would end in 2020 but it could be extended.
What would happen after the transition depends on the agreement between the EU and the UK on their future relationship.
One issue that is relevant in all EU countries (except Ireland) is what happens to UK pensioners living elsewhere in the EU who currently benefit from the S1 certificate, which means they are entitled to the same healthcare as nationals of the countries in which they live.
If there is no deal, then that would cease to apply after 29 March.
The UK government’s Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill is supposed to allow reciprocal healthcare arrangements to continue for UK expats in the case of a no-deal Brexit, but that would need the agreement of each country’s government.
While some governments have said favourable things about the idea, they have not yet agreed to it.
There are an estimated 300,000 British nationals living in Spain , the highest number in any EU country.
A no-deal Brexit would affect different groups of UK citizens in Spain differently,according to the latest government advice .
If you are working in Spain and paying social security contributions to Spain, you would still be able to access state-funded healthcare.
But if you are a pensioner, your rights would depend on how long you have lived in Spain.
Pensioners who have been residing in Spain for more than five years continuously might be able to apply for a permanent residence, which would allow them to access state-funded healthcare under the same conditions as Spanish citizens.
Those who have been in the country for less than five years but who have been registered with their local town hall for at least a year, could use a pay-in health insurance scheme offered by the Spanish government to people who are not employed. Source and full story here from BBC News
13th February – The UK government has today updated its document about Brexit including living in the EU, Working, Passports, Pet travel and Pension. Read the details HERE
12th February – If approved, the Withdrawal Agreement will secure the rights of 1 million UK nationals living in the EU.
The signed Agreement will provide certainty for you as a UK national and your family living in the EU. Most importantly, it will allow you to stay in the EU country where you are living after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.
The Agreement also sets out the terms for a time-limited implementation period that will start on 30 March 2019 and last until 31 December 2020.
UK nationals and their families covered by the Agreement should note that:
- EU countries may require you as a UK national and your family members covered by the agreement to apply for a residency document or status conferring the right of residence.
Read the full story from the Government HERE
12th February –Leave-voting expats realise an end to free movement also applies to them
A video of a Leave-voting expat who bought his Spanish holiday home after the referendum has been making the rounds on social media after he realised an end to free movement would apply to him too.
Dave, who bought a holiday home in Spain after voting to leave, says he would vote to remain if there was a second referendum.
Explaining the reasons behind his change of heart, he said freedom of movement in Europe for “proper Europeans” was among the main factor. Read the full story from the London Economic HERE
7th February – Brits Will Face Immediate Return Of Mobile Phone Roaming Charges Under No-Deal Brexit, Government Reveals
Consumer group pleas ignored after phone firms warned of losses.
Brits travelling in Europe will overnight face the return of mobile phone roaming charges in the event of a no-deal Brexit,
A little-noticed government regulation laid before parliament on Tuesday confirms that the UK will revoke the current legislation that allows holidaymakers and business people to use their smartphones in the EU at no extra cost.
The draft ‘statutory instrument’, which has been tabled as part of a raft of no-deal preparations, means that from March 29 phone users will be liable for surcharges when they travel on the continent. Full story from Huff Post HERE
6th February – Donald Tusk: Special place in hell for Brexiteers without a plan
European Council President Donald Tusk has spoken of a “special place in hell” for “those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan of how to carry it out safely”.
He was speaking after talks with Irish premier Leo Varadkar in Brussels.
Brexit-backing MPs reacted with anger to the comments, accusing Mr Tusk of “arrogance”.
Downing Street said it was a question for Mr Tusk “whether he considers the use of that kind of language helpful”. Source BBC
1st February –EU agrees visa-free travel for UK citizens even after no-deal exit
The EU has agreed to give British citizens visa-free travel to member states, even if there is a no-deal Brexit.
Britain has already confirmed that EU citizens will be able to make short-term visits to the UK without a visa after Brexit takes place on 29 March. The EU warned, however, that British tourists would lose that right if the UK government imposed visa requirements at any time on any of its member states.
The European Council said in a statement: “EU ambassadors today agreed that, following Brexit, UK citizens coming to the Schengen area for a short stay (90 days in any 180 days) should be granted visa free travel. Source The Independant
29th January – Important updates, S1 certificate (formerly known as E106)
An S1 certificate helps you and your dependents access healthcare in the EU/EEA country where you live. If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid until 29 March 2019.
After this date, the certificate may not be valid, depending on decisions by member states. You should go to the NHS website for the latest information on each country.
You can continue to apply for an S1 certificate until 29 March.
You may be eligible for an S1 certificate, if you:
- have worked and paid contributions in the UK
- receive some UK benefits such as pensions
Apply through the Business Services Authority for an S1 certificate on 0044 (0)191 218 1999.
If you are a posted worker, contact HMRC: National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
HM Revenue and Customs
- Telephone: 0044 (0)300 200 3500
- Outside UK: 0044 (0)191 203 7010
25th January – Source ElMundo.es
Hosbec, the main hotel management of the Valencian Community based in Benidorm, will reinforce and advance this year to the month of March the promotion campaign that usually drives to attract British customers in the low season. Normally entrepreneurs developed these actions in September, October and November , with an eye on the winter campaign. The reason is that between June and August there is usually no problem to sell the Spanish sun and beach product in the United Kingdom (the Benidorm brand, the most recognizable in the Anglo-Saxon country, works alone), but the situation that exists in the United Kingdom requires, according to business sources, “special planning”.
That is at least what emerges from the meetings with the tour operators in the first two days of the International Tourism Fair (Fitur), in Madrid. According to the general secretary of Hosbec, Nuria Montes , the problem of Brexit is not yet real, “but the messages that are being launched in the country” by politicians and media.
Benidorm will launch a campaign for the first time in March to attract customers in high season
Nuria Montes (Hosbec): “The problem is not the exit, but the crisis of confidence that is being generated”
More fragmented destinations like Valencia will have an advantage this year
Spanish operators “are responding well” and expect to keep demand in summer
Read the full story here at elmundo.es
15th January 21.00 – Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal has been rejected by 230 votes – the largest defeat for a sitting government in history.
15th January – UK Parliament set to vote in “Meaningful Vote”
The “meaningful vote” Parliamentarians have on both the Withdrawal Agreement and the outline for the future relationship between Brexit Britain and the European Union was made law under Section 13(1) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which requires the draft deal to be put to both the House of Commons and House of Lords. The result of the vote is expected at approx 9pm (UK time)
14th January – Drivers from the UK living in the EU have been urged to swap their licence for a local one as soon as possible in case there is a no-deal Brexit.
If they do not, they might have to pass a test in the country where they live.
The government also said those living in the UK who want to drive in the EU after 29 March might need an international driving permit (IDP).
It warned British licence holders living in the EU they should exchange their licence soon to avoid any delays.
The AA estimated as many as half a million ex-pats living in France and Spain would have to take a new test if they had not exchanged their licence, should there be no deal.
You are only allowed one EU driving licence at any one time, which is why people currently have to exchange their licence, rather having both one from the UK and one from another EU country.
Driving in the EU with a UK Licence. From 29 March 2019, in the event that there is no EU Exit deal, you may need an international driving permit (IDP) in addition to your UK driving licence to drive in EU and EEA countries. Read more details about the permits HERE
12th January – Spain prepares for no-deal Brexit, including guaranteeing Brexpats’ rights
SPANISH president Pedro Sánchez reveals he has been working since November on contingency plans for four key areas in case of a ‘hard Brexit’.
British expats living in Spain have been worried about their future since the morning of June 24, 2016 when the referendum results were announced, but Sánchez has them uppermost in his mind – in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the president is ready to pass a law immediately to prevent them becoming ‘illegal immigrants’ and to continue to be able to access the national health service, pensions, State benefits such as dole money, and to live and work.
Parliamentary spokeswoman Isabel Celáa says the law will come into force in February if the UK continues without a concrete deal with the required backing.
Read the full article at thinkspain.com
6th January 2019 – Updated from the UK Government
Living in an EU country after the UK leaves the EU
Continuing to live in an EU country after the UK has left the EU depends on the EU and its Member States, and whether they reciprocate our offer in this policy paper on Citizens’ rights in the event of a no deal Brexit. Our offer guarantees the right of EU citizens in the UK to continue their lives broadly as now. A number of Member States have already given political assurances to UK Nationals about their residency rights. The European Commission has also published a No Deal Contingency Action Plan which calls upon EU Member States to take a generous approach to UK nationals who are already resident in their territory. This includes a call for Member States to take measures so that all UK nationals legally residing in a Member States on 29 March 2019 will continue to be considered as legal residents of that Member State without interruption. We will continue to work with the EU and all of the Member States to make sure UK nationals are given firm reassurances as soon as possible.
Working in an EU country without a visa and residency status
If you are working in the EU as an employed or self-employed person and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation for the duration of the period shown on the form. However, after 29 March 2019 the form may no longer be recognised by the EU country/or countries you work in. You should contact the relevant EU country’s authority to see if you need to start paying any social security charges. We are in contact with Member States on changes for UK nationals in a no deal and will provide updates as and when information becomes available.
Travelling with pets to and from the UK
UK nationals will still be able to bring pets to and from the UK after the UK leaves the EU. Information on how to bring your pet to the UK can be found on Pet Travel to Europe after Brexit. You should contact your vet at least 4 months before you plan on travelling to any EU country with your pet. More information on the documents that would be required to enter or re-enter the UK will be made available for pet owners on GOV.UK. For more information on travel back to the EU visit Taking your pet abroad if there’s no Brexit deal.
Paying for healthcare in EU countries
UK nationals living in, working in, or visiting the EU may find that their access to healthcare in EU Member States will change after 29 March 2019. This will depend on decisions by each country. However, the UK is seeking bilateral agreements to maintain healthcare rights as a top priority. You can find out more about healthcare abroad.
For people visiting the EU, we recommend buying travel insurance to ensure you can travel safely. You should make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy, and that the policy is sufficient to cover possible disruption. The FCO has guidance on what your travel insurance policy should cover.
If you already have travel insurance to cover your trip, your insurer should let you know if there will be any changes to the way your policy is serviced that will affect you after the UK leaves the EU. If you have questions about what your travel insurance policy covers, or whether the policy is sufficient to cover possible disruption, you may wish to contact your insurer.
Travel around the EU with a British passport
The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. After 29 March 2019:
- You should have at least 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.
- If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date, making it valid for more than 10 years. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.
The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey. You can use this tool to check a passport for travel to Europe.
Package travel after Brexit
Your rights as a UK consumer will stay the same while the UK remains in the EU.
Your package holiday is protected if you bought it from an organiser within the EU and complete the holiday before 29 March 2019. This means that you could be repatriated and/or refunded if the organiser becomes insolvent.
- Your consumer rights in the event of a deal
The UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, there will be an implementation period until December 2020 where your consumer protections will be the same as they are now. Your package travel will be protected if you bought it from any business within the EU and complete the holiday before the end of that period.
- Your consumer rights in the event of a ‘no deal’
If we leave the EU without a deal, after 29 March 2019, your protections will stay the same if you buy a package holiday from a UK based business. If you are unsure where your package travel organiser is based, for example if you are shopping online, you should verify with them and check their terms and conditions.
If you have booked with or are buying from a package travel organiser which is not established in the UK or does not obviously direct its business to the UK you can read further guidance from the government HERE
Travelling to the EU from the UK
From 29 March 2019, if there is no EU Exit deal, passengers on cross-border bus and coach services, travelling to the EU by sea (ferry and cruise ships), travelling to the EU by sea, travelling using EuroStar or through the EuroTunnel. will continue to be protected by the EU by regulations and will be written into UK Law the Government has confirmed.
Passengers should take out appropriate travel insurance, check and understand the terms and conditions of their booking, and check with Eurostar and their insurance provider if they have any questions. Read full details HERE
30th December – Fears over multi-million-pound government contract awarded to company with no ferries
The government’s preparations for a no-deal Brexit have been questioned after it emerged a £13.8m contract to run extra ferries has been awarded to a company with no ships.
Seaborne Freight, which has not previously operated a ferry service, was one of three firms tasked with laying on additional crossings to ease the pressure on Dover.
It aims to operate freight ferries from Ramsgate in Kent to Ostend in Belgium, beginning with two ships in late March and increasing to four by the end of the summer.
Paul Messenger also questioned whether the government had carried out sufficient checks on the firm, telling the BBC: “It has no ships and no trading history so how can due diligence be done?
“Why choose a company that never moved a single truck in their entire history and give them £14m? I don’t understand the logic of that.” Continue reading the full story here in the www.independent.co.uk
29th December – Channel migrant crisis: Tory MP demands ANSWERS from Macron as British rescues surge
A CONSERVATIVE MP has urged the Government to challenge Emmanuel Macron after appearing to accuse French officials of letting illegal migrants slip through their waters and into British seas.
Conservative MP Damian Collins has questioned why France has failed to detect the recent surge of migrants crossing the Channel. There has been a shock rise in the number of migrants crossing the Channel in recent weeks – with 90 rescued since Christmas. Mr Collins, who represents Folkestone & Hythe, appeared to accuse the French officials of letting migrants through their waters without detection. Read the full story in the www.express.co.uk
28th December – The Spanish PM delivered a ‘message of calm’ to both Britons in Spain and Spaniards in the UK
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the rights of the 300,000 British people living in Spain would be secured even in the case of a no deal Brexit as long as the same was offered to Spanish people in the United Kingdom.
The socialist PM said the government was working on measures to ensure Britons living would keep their rights even if Britain crashed out of the EU without a deal on 29 March. Measures were, however, conditional on the roughly 100,000 Spaniards getting the same treatment in Britain, he said.
Talking in his traditional end of year press conference broadcast from the Palacio de la Moncloa on Friday, Mr Sanchez said: “I want to convey a message of calm for the Spaniards who live in the United Kingdom and also the British who reside in Spain.”
“We will preserve your rights whatever the scenario.”
The Spanish Government are also working on Contingency plans for every Scenario assocated with Brexit. Details on their website HERE
No deal Brexit plans
He said his Government was working with the European Commission and Council and other member states to put in place contingency plans for a no deal Brexit. Spain is the most popular European retirement destination for Britons and is home to around 300,000, mostly settled on the coast.
Among foreign nationals, they are by far the biggest users of Spain’s state-funded, universal health care system. Sanchez said he would present legislation in February outlining the rights of citizens in the respective countries and would also put forward measures to protect the commercial relationship between the two countries.
EU settlement scheme
In Britain, Spanish citizens, along with all other EU nationals from the remaining 26 member states, will have to apply to the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme if they want to remain in the UK after 31 December 2020.
A video shared on social media by the Home Office promoting the scheme has provoked outrage, with critics branding its message as ‘menacing.‘ Around 3 million EU nationals live in Britain, while around 1.3 million British people live in European Countries, the largest contingent living in Spain.
Theresa May’s Brexit deal safeguards the rights of British people living in the EU until the end of the transition period in 2020, but if the UK crashes without a deal these rights may have to be secured through bilateral agreements with all 27 remaining member states, such as the one proposed by the Spanish Prime Minister.
Read more at: inews.co.uk
19th December – Post-Brexit immigration plans at a glance Source www.theguardian.com
Here are the key points in policy paper that ministers say is biggest shake-up in immigration for 40 years.
End to free movement
“Everyone will be required to obtain a permission if they want to come to the UK to work or study.”
There will be no cap on the numbers of skilled workers but there will be targets.
No access to British welfare system
Those who enter under the new system will have no “right to access to public funds, or to settle” said Javid.
Immigration based on skills
New system will favour skilled workers. The government says the policy “will ensure the UK remains a hub for international talent from the EU and the rest of the world”.
To address concerns of employers particularly in construction and social care, it is proposed that low-skilled workers will be able to enter the UK for a maximum of 12 months with a cooling-off period of a further 12 months to prevent people effectively working in the UK permanently.
The white paper shows the government wants to enact this at the end of the transition period, which is currently set as January 2021.
The visa scheme will be opened in autumn 2020 to allow would-be migrants apply in good time.
But with no deal still a prospect, the system would could be in operation as early in April 2019 if the UK crashes out of the EU.
£30,000 salary threshold
There will be a salary threshold but this has been put out to a 12-month consultation period, so this could change if government succumbs to pressure from the business community, which says the minimum income is set too high for most sectors.
EU citizens already in the UK
EU citizens settled in the UK who want to stay in the country will have to register for a new “settled status”. They will have until June 2021 to do so as long as there is a transition period.
Family members of EU citizens in the UK
Post-Brexit EU nationals who wish to join family members “will need permission to do so, normally in the form of an electronic status, which must be obtained before coming to the UK”. In the current Brexit deal, family members will continue to have the right to come to the UK.
Visitors from the EU will get special treatment and will not be required to obtain a visa in advance of travel. The government intends to let them continue using the electronic passport gates at airports to allow quick transit on entry to the country. It hopes the EU will reciprocate.
The UK has said it does not intend to impose a visa requirement for short-term visits.
Young people’s visas
The mobility scheme for young people who come on short-term visas from countries like Australia will be expanded.
The white paper proposes “applying stricter criminality thresholds on refusal of entry and removals to EU citizens entering the UK”. Under EU law EU citizens cannot be automatically barred on the basis of “previous criminal convictions” but they can be excluded on a case by case basis if they present a “genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat” to society.
14th December –
Source Sky News By Faisal Islam, political editor
Brussels has started to implement the system that preauthorises entry of citizens from certain countries without a visa.
Millions of Britons travelling to the EU will have to pay €7 (£6.29) for visa-free travel from 2021, a Brussels chief has told Sky News.
The post-Brexit move was confirmed by European Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker.
Alongside the fee, UK citizens will need to pre-register for the three-year electronic visa waiver.
The small print of the detailed draft regulation covering visa exemptions for UK citizens travelling to the bloc says that “the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will apply to United Kingdom nationals once union law on free movement of union citizens ceases to apply to them, as to other visa-free third country nationals”.
The maintenance of visa-free travel for short-term visits to the EU, and by all EU citizens to the UK has been heralded by the government and Prime Minister Theresa May as one of the great achievements of the political declaration agreed by EU leaders at the special summit last month.
In an interview with Sky News at the recent G20 summit in Argentina, the PM was asked whether if the public wanted to avoid the imposition of this charge MPs would have to vote down her deal..
There had been some hopes privately in government and publicly from Conservative Brexit supporting MPs that the UK could negotiate an exemption from the new US-style preregistration and payment requirement. Continue reading HERE
12th December 21.00 (UK time)
May wins confidence ballot by 200 votes to 117
12th December – Theresa May warns Brexit could be ‘stopped’ if she is toppled, as PM vows to fight leadership challenge tonight.
Source – www.independent.co.uk
Theresa May has vowed to fight for her job, warning Brexit would have to be delayed or even cancelled if she has toppled by Conservative MPs.
Speaking in Downing Street, the prime minister announced she would contest the no-confidence vote of all Tory MPs tonight “with everything I’ve got”.
And, in a dramatic warning to her MPs not to desert her, she raised the prospect of a new leader being forced to delay or annul Brexit, because they would not have time to negotiate a new deal.
“One of their first acts would have to be extending, or even rescinding, Article 50- delaying, or even stopping, Brexit when people want us to get on with it,” Ms May said.
The expected pledge to fight the contest came one hour after Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 backbench committee, announced the vote of no confidence would go ahead.
Sir Graham released a statement saying the threshold of 48 signatures – 15 per cent of the total number of Tory MPs – “has been exceeded”.
The contest will be staged between 6pm and 8pm this evening, when all 315 Conservative MPs will vote on whether they believe Ms May should continue.
The prime minister requires 158 supporters to survive – after which there cannot be another contest for one year – although rejection by more than 100 Tory MPs could damage her fatally.
A new Tory leader – and prime minister – would not be in place until the middle of January at the very earliest, depending on the number of hustings to be staged for party members.
Furthermore, grassroots Tories are almost certain to pick a Brexiteer, who could put the UK on course for a no-deal Brexit if the EU refuses to renegotiate.
Outside No 10, Ms May urged her MPs to recognise that forcing her out would “put our country’s future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it”.
She argued: “A new leader wouldn’t be in place by 21 January legal deadline, so a leadership election risks handing control of the Brexit negotiations to opposition MPs in parliament.
10th December – Anger as Theresa May refuses to set new date for Commons vote on her Brexit deal, ahead of fresh EU talks
Source – www.independent.co.uk
Theresa May sparked anger across the Commons by refusing to say when MPs will vote on her Brexit deal, as she prepared to head to Brussels to beg EU leaders for further concessions.
The showdown was dramatically delayed almost certainly until the New Year after the prime minister admitted a Tory revolt meant she was heading for a crushing defeat “by a significant margin”.
But condemnation of Ms May for pulling back rose when Downing Street failed to set a new timetable for the vote – arguing it depended on when Ms May could “get the assurances” from the EU to pass the deal.
Government sources admitted a quick breakthrough was unlikely, suggesting the vote would be shelved until the New Year and refusing to say it would even be held in January.
The impasse remains the Irish border, where a gulf remains between MPs’ demands for the UK to be able to escape the backstop and the EU’s refusal to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement.
The pound plunged to a 20-month low within minutes of the announcement of the delay, as the markets digested the deepening Brexit chaos.
It came just hours after the European Court of Justice confirmed the UK has the right to cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50 unilaterally, remaining in the EU on its current membership terms.
Unless a “meaningful vote” is staged, MPs have no formal mechanism to stop the UK crashing out of the EU with no agreement next March – something the prime minister admitted, for the first time, would cause “significant economic damage”.
The extraordinary uncertainty was condemned by MPs on all sides, Jeremy Corbyn saying: “If the prime minister cannot be clear that she can and will re-negotiate a deal then she must make way.
Justine Greening, the former Conservative cabinet minister, said: “Parliament has gone round in circles on Brexit. Now today, even that’s stopped. Britain must find a direction. Kicking the can down the road again solves nothing.”
And Sammy Wilson, Brexit spokesman for the Democratic Unionist Party – the Tories’ partners in power – turned on Ms May, saying: “Doesn’t she believe that, every time she returns to the House with her tail between her legs, she humiliates the British people?”
A furious Mark Francois, deputy chairman of the hard Brexit-supporting European Research Group of Tory MPs, said the government had “run away and hidden in the toilets”, adding: “What the government have done today is shameful.”
No 10 also sparked fury by refusing to let MPs decide whether the vote, scheduled for Tuesday evening, should be pulled – despite being all-but ordered to do so by the Commons Speaker
5th December – World news story – An open letter from HMA Simon Manley to British nationals living in Spain. Source www.gov.uk
HMA to Spain Simon Manley offers an update on the recent developments on the UK exit from the EU after the special European Council on Brexit.
Citizens’ rights is a key part of the agreement, so this represents a big step forward in providing certainty for UK nationals living in Spain. As the PM said following the European Council “If you are one of the over 3 million EU citizens who has come and built your life in the UK – come to be our colleagues, our neighbours and our friends – you need a deal that guarantees your rights. If you are one of the almost 1 million UK nationals living elsewhere in the EU, you need the same. This deal delivers for you all.”
The next stage is for the UK Parliament to vote on the deal the Government has negotiated, which is expected on the 11th of December. The European Parliament will also vote on the agreement.
If approved, the Withdrawal Agreement will secure the rights of 1 million UK nationals living in the EU. It means that the 300,000 British people who have chosen to make Spain their home have a legal guarantee that they will be allowed to stay here after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.
You can read the whole address from Simon Manley HERE
4th December – BREAKING NEWS – UK can cancel Brexit by unilaterally revoking Article 50, European Court advocate general says., Consent of other member states ‘not needed’ Source the Independant.co.uk
Britain can still cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50 without the consent of other EU member states, the European Court of Justice’s advocate general has said.
The EU’s top court has been considering the question of whether the UK can decide not to go ahead with Brexit at this late stage after a legal challenge by campaigners.
The formal legal recommendation cites Britain’s “sovereignty” in treaty-making matters and says withdrawal “may be revoked at any time” during the negotiating period, as long as it is done in good faith.
The statement is significant because it would mean Britain would have the power to stop a no-deal Brexit from happening, even if Theresa May’s deal is voted down next week.
UK government lawyers also have already conceded that parliament has the power to instruct the Government to revoke Article 50, meaning MPs worried about a no-deal would have powers to stop one from happening.
EU lawyers had argued that the UK needed a vote of other member states if it wanted to back out, while the British government had said the Court should not rule on the question because it was hypothetical.
Though the advocate general’s opinion is not a final legal ruling, it is very unusual for the full court to overturn its recommendation. A final ruling by a panel of judges is due in the next few weeks.
The Government has been trying to convince MPs to vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal by warning that voting it down could trigger a no-deal.
The EU has repeatedly said the options available to Britain are the deal on the table, no-deal, or no Brexit. However it was legally disputed whether all EU member states would have to unanimously agree to let Britain stay….. CONTINUE READING HERE IN THE INDEPENDENT ONLINE
25th November – EU leaders agree UK’s Brexit deal at Brussels summit
EU leaders have approved an agreement on the UK’s withdrawal and future relations – insisting it is the “best and only deal possible”.
After 20 months of negotiations, the 27 leaders gave the deal their blessing after less than an hour’s discussion.
They said the deal – which needs to be approved by the UK Parliament – paved the way for an “orderly withdrawal”.
Theresa May said the deal “delivered for the British people” and set the UK “on course for a prosperous future”.
Speaking in Brussels, she urged both Leave and Remain voters to unite behind the agreement, insisting the British public “do not want to spend any more time arguing about Brexit”.
The UK Parliament is expected to vote on the deal in early December, but its approval is far from guaranteed.
Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, the DUP and many Conservatives MPs are set to vote against.
Mrs May has appealed to the public to get behind the agreement, saying that although it involved compromises it was a “good deal that unlocks a bright future for the UK”.
The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. continue reading here on BBC.com
17th November – British rights in Spain ’to be DEFENDED in no-deal Brexit’ – BREXPAT BOOST
Article by Joe Duggan – Express.co.uk
British tourists currently also gain access to the Spanish health care system and elsewhere in the EU through a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Health care in the event of a no-deal Brexit is the main concern among Brexpats in Spain’s members, with more than 100,000 British residents in Spain pensioners.
Ms Hernandez said: “Some are desperately worried, people here who need medical help, will all types of illnesses, some who have cancer. If Theresa May pulls the plug, what the hell is going to happen to them?
“I can’t believe anybody would be that heartless.
“We have to remain optimistic. We have had the support of the Spanish from the start.”
According to Spanish financial and business newspaper Expansion, Mr Sanchez’s Socialist government wants to ensure British residents can continue to use Spanish hospitals, with the UK government paying around £223 million (€300 million) to fund the care.
Read the full story HERE
13th November some good news at last – EU says British citizens will not need visas to visit member states in event of no-deal
UK to be placed on visa-exempt list
British travellers will not need visas to visit the European Union for short stays even if there is a no-deal Brexit, the European Commission has said.
Commissioners made the recommendation to put the UK on the visa-exempt list at a meeting in Strasbourg on Tuesday. The offer is dependent on the UK offering reciprocal arrangements for EU citizens.
Travel advice issued by the Commission says: “The European Commission has proposed to the EU legislator to exempt UK nationals from visa requirements for short-term stays”.
The EU puts all countries on either a visa exempt list or a visa required list. Visa policy is coordinated for the whole Schengen passportless area.
British travellers could still be inconvenienced by Brexit because the EU is planning to bring in a system where countries outside the bloc will need to apply for an electronic travel authorisation in advance, even if they are visa-exempt.
Continue reading this story in the INDEPENDENT
9th November – Two legal rights that will disappear after Brexit
David Greene, Edwin Coe’s Senior Partner was interviewed on the Sky News programme, Ian King Live, on Wednesday evening (7th November), discussing the impact of Brexit on the legal sector and on people’s lives.
David suggested that a ‘No Deal’ Brexit could have a substantial impact on the legal sector as well as the wider British economy.
He highlighted two day-to-day areas that would be affected by this – the right to access compensation if a package holiday goes wrong and how insurance disputes would be handled after a car accident while in the European Union.
Part of his interview is available on the Sky News website.
7th November – Spain seeks contingency plans with UK tour operators over fears of no-deal Brexit
‘We want to be optimistic, but we are at a point at which we all have to keep up the pressure on the negotiators’
Article written by Chris Baynes of the Independent
Spain’s tourism minister has met with UK tour operators to discuss contingency plans to ensure millions of British tourists can still visit her country in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Reyes Maroto is holding talks this week with the heads of some of Britain’s biggest travel companies, including Thomas Cook, to draw up proposals in case the UK crashes out of the EU with no withdrawal agreement in place.
About 18 million British tourists travel to Spain each year, accounting for nearly one-quarter of all visitors.
“British tourists need to know that Spain next year will still be an attractive destination,” said Ms Maroto, minister for trade, industry and tourism.
“We are outlining a list of measures, the most important of which are to have laws and regulations in place that will allow us to respond quickly to any problems that can come up with the movement of goods and people at the border.”
International tourism accounts for about 11 per cent of Spain’s €1 trillion (£870bn) economy and the sector is the country’s biggest employer. More people travel to Spain from the UK than from any other nation. Continue reading here in the INDEPENDENT.
1st November – No more holidays to Europe if we leave the EU without a deal, MP says.
There will be ‘no holidays’ on the continent for Brits if the government fails to reach an agreement on data-sharing with the EU, ministers were warned.
The intervention in the Commons follows warnings from industry leaders that if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement.
Labour MP Daniel Zeichner raised this point during Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) questions today. He highlighted one business in his constituency which would have to strike 72,000 data deals with EU firms in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
‘Does the minister understand if Brexit means Brexit, no deal means no holidays?
DCMS secretary Jeremy Wright responded: ‘I think that’s ever so slightly on the alarmist side. Read more here in Metro
Pet travel to Europe after Brexit
Advice for pet owners planning to take a pet to any EU country after 29 March 2019 in the unlikely event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
To make sure your pet is able to travel from the UK to the EU after 29 March 2019 in any scenario, you should contact your vet at least 4 months before travelling to get the latest advice.
Rules for pet travel
The rules for taking your pet to any EU country will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal and is treated as an unlisted country.
You must get your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and then vaccinated against rabies before it can travel.
However, to allow effective contingency planning in the worst case scenario of the UK not being granted third country status, you’ll need to take the following steps to make sure your pet can travel after 29 March 2019:
- You must get your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and then vaccinated against rabies before it can travel. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. You’ll need to talk to your vet about whether you need a rabies vaccination or booster before this test.
- Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory.
- The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (Your pet must have a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).
- You must wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel.
- You must take your pet to a Official Veterinarian (OV), no more than 10 days before travel to get a health certificate.
If there’s no deal, pet passports issued in the UK would not be valid for travel to the EU. Read more HERE
Schengen Visa´s Explained
A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any members of the Schengen Area, per stays up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes. … It enables its holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengenzone from any of the Schengen member countries.
17th October – Brexit: ‘Expectations low’ as PM heads to Brussels
Theresa May is heading to Brussels to speak to EU leaders as she battles to keep hopes of a Brexit deal alive.
Expectations of a breakthrough are low, with talks deadlocked over the Irish border issue.
EU leaders say it is up to the UK prime minister to come up with fresh ideas to solve it.
Mrs May is sticking to the plan she has already set out – but there is speculation the post-Brexit transition period could be extended.
This European Council meeting was meant to be the occasion when the remaining 27 EU member states gave the green light for a special summit in November to finalise the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Read more here on the BBC website
11th October – Kent motorway to shut as work begins on possible post-Brexit lorry park
A Kent motorway is undergoing a series of closures as work begins on turning it into a potential lorry park to deal with the possible impact of a no-deal Brexit.
In the most significant practical work yet to prepare for the consequences of the UK crashing out of the EU, the M26 will be closed through the night until next week for site surveys before another set of closures in the month leading up to Christmas to install gates in the central reservation.
Work has already started on the M20 motorway, with further closures ahead, where the DfT has earmarked a 13.5-mile stretch between Maidstone and Ashford as a holding park for thousands of trucks. The four-lane southbound carriageway will be closed, while a two-lane contraflow will allow traffic to continue to the Channel.
Now it has been revealed that ministers are also planning to use the M26, a 10-mile motorway that links the M25 to the M20 in Kent starting 65 miles from Dover, to park more lorries. Read more here in the Guardian
If you do have a holiday booked for after the EU leave date should renew their passports as soon as possible, officials have said.
Those who don’t could be barred from entering EU countries Europe if a no deal Brexit happens. Read more HERE
September 24th – Brexit no-deal could prevent flights and even coaches travelling to the EU
Brexit has already threatened a number of travel issues for UK tourists heading to Europe after leaving the EU.
Grounded flights, additional visas and new passport rules have all caused fears in regards to a no-deal Brexit.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, this could also affect bus and coach operators that run between the UK and the EU.
20th September 2018 – Passport readers at Alicante Airport, in preparation for Brexit
The machinery installed at Alicante Airport in the “B gates” area. These passport readers are part of the preparations for Brexit next year. I have questioned immigration officials in the UK and Spain about the passport readers as I have a professional interest in such matters, until recent retirement I have represented clients in appeal cases before the Upper and Lower Immigration Tribunals for thirty-five years. Both the UK Home Office and their Spanish counterparts say the same thing, the new visa system has been the easiest part of the Brexit process to agree, that’s why they have been able to install the airport hardware so far in advance.
Anyone having residencia before the end of next March is unlikely to be affected as governments on both sides of the divide will not retrospectively remove rights already granted, although a word of caution would apply to pensioners settled here with residencia under the S1 system in case reciprocal health care bites the dust. That brings me to the machines at Alicante Airport. They are “day counters” for the purposes of the Schengen Visa system and will cause some degree of inconvenience for a few members of this page.
As most of you will know, Schengen visas enable non-EU citizens to enter the Schengen area on a single or multi-entry basis for a maximum of 90 days in any period of 180 days. The airport machines will be used to automatically calculate the total days spent in Spain by recording the day of entry and departure.
Here’s an example. Mr & Mrs Jones are UK residents with an apartment in Spain, In 2019 they come over to Benidorm to spend the summer from 1 June to 28 August. Under the new system that would be no problem. Their entry and departure will be recorded, but the inconvenience arises in the fact that they cannot return to the Schengen area (including Benidorm) for at least another 90 days: at the end of November. So if they planned a short break to Cyprus in October, forget it, the readers at the airport will not open the gates and they will be returned (at their expense) on the next flight to the UK.
All of this means is that any property owners or regular visitors to Benidorm without residencia will need to carefully manage their diaries in future to ensure they abide by the 90 day rule. We are not going to have the flexibility we currently have to come and go as we please, but I suppose it’s all part of “controlling our borders”.
The Spanish Government have been urging all residents to make sure all paperwork is in order before Brexit.
Spain wants a special chapter on Gibraltar in Brexit agreement
PM Pedro Sánchez will meet with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier to push for an annex addressing cross-border workers, tax evasion and smuggling in the British territory.
Spain is working to include a specific chapter on Gibraltar in the Brexit agreement. Britain’s planned departure from the European Union in March 2019 is being viewed by Spanish authorities as a good moment to make progress on long-standing claims involving taxes, environmental issues and smuggling in the British overseas territory, which is located in southern Spain. Full story HERE
BRITS with less than six months left on their passports could be banned from travelling to Europe after Brexit, the Government fears.
More bad news if a N0 Deal Brexit is announced -Leaked documents reveal that if we leave the EU with No Deal, thousands of British holidaymakers could be kept away from the continent. continue reading here
Government sources have told Sky News that roaming charges – abolished since June 2017 after changes to EU regulation – would return if there is a “no-deal” Brexit.
Whitehall sources told Sky News the warning is expected to be released on Thursday when the government publishes its second batch of “no-deal” technical notices – although the paper has yet to be signed off. Full story HERE
What is the difference between a Soft and Hard Brexit?
A soft Brexit is usually taken to refer to one that keeps Britain closely aligned with the EU. The objective is to minimise the disruption to trade, to supply chains and to business in general that would be created by diverging from the EU’s regulations and standards, thereby reducing the cost of Brexit. In practice a soft Brexit means staying within both the EU’s single market (like Norway) and its customs union (like Turkey). Soft Brexiteers are willing to be bound by EU rules and tariffs even though Britain will lose any say in making them. They also accept the inevitable consequence that it will be hard, even impossible, for Britain to do any trade deals with third countries.
A hard Brexit rejects the whole idea of close alignment. The goal is to escape burdensome EU regulations and tariffs, so as to be able to draw up rules and customs arrangements of Britain’s own choosing. In practice a hard Brexit means leaving both the single market and the customs union. Hard Brexiteers believe that staying in either would turn Britain into a “vassal state” of the EU. They are willing to accept the short-term disruption and potentially high costs of breaking free from Brussels, because they believe that the long-term gains from better regulation and the striking of free-trade deals all round the world will do more than enough to offset them.