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What does a no-deal Brexit look like for Brits in Europe and Europeans in the UK?

What does a no-deal Brexit look like for Brits in Europe and Europeans in the UK?
Copyright Reuters
Copyright Reuters
By Euronews
Published on Updated
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With no arrangement yet in place for when the UK departs the EU, Euronews looks at what a no-deal scenario means for the rights of Brits living in the bloc and Europeans living in the UK.


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Britain is set to depart the European Union on March 29 but with no deal agreed on a post-Brexit relationship, some of the remaining EU27 have published guidelines on the rights of Brits in the bloc if it crashes out completely.


The government approved a decree on Wednesday and published a summary that covers the rights of Britons living in France in a no-deal scenario.

UK citizens currently living in France will have one year to get a non-EU Citizen card, called a carte de sejour, or a residence permit.

People sit on the terrace of 'le Pub' in Eymet, FranceReuters

During that period, the rights of British nationals will stay the same in terms of residence, working rights, and access to benefits. If you already have a residence permit, you will be able to swap it for a long-term resident non-EU citizen one.

Access to health care will be the same for Brits in France for two years after the UK's departure.

France has reiterated it will apply these conditions if the UK ensures the same rights for French citizens living in Britain.


According to United Nations data in 2015, Spain hosts the largest amount of Britons in Europe with 308,000 people, about a third of them pensioners.

In Spain "third country" nationals have to receive an annual income of at least €26,000 to remain a legal resident, which could prove difficult for pensioners.

Theresa May is seen on a television screen next to a mounted bull's head in Fuengirola, southern SpainReuters

To become a Spanish citizen official rules state you would have to renounce your British passport, except for veterans of the 1930s left-wing International Brigades and Sephardi Jews who can prove a family connection with Spain.

The government has yet to set out any decree on the rights of UK citizens in Spain and Spanish nationals in Britain but said it was starting to work on one last month.


Italy too has yet to set out any formal decree but its foreign affairs ministry has said that British residents can continue to live and work in Italy in the event of a no-deal Brexit.


Both the UK and Ireland have said the Common Travel Area, which allows for the free travel and residence in either jurisdiction, will continue despite a no-deal Brexit.

A sign from Border Communities Against Brexit is seen on the borderline between County Cavan in Ireland and County Fermanagh in Northern IrelandReuters

However, the risk of a crash out of the EU with no-deal is that it could bring back a "hard" Northern Irish border.


After Brexit day on the 29 March and the event of a no-deal, UK citizens will have three months to register for a new temporary residence permit.

Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland

The UK and the so-called EEA EFTA countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, reached an agreement on citizens rights in the event of no-deal on Friday.

The Icelandic government said the agreement "protects the rights of EEA EFTA citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the EEA EFTA states, providing certainty that they can continue to do so in the event of a no-deal Brexit".

Norway's government made a similar statement which would mean residence rights are secured regardless of no-deal being agreed.


European citizens in the UK

The UK Government said it intends to implement an EU Settlement Scheme, even if no Brexit deal is agreed on, which will allow a ‘settled status’ regime for EU nationals in the UK.

An EU flag during an anti-Brexit outside the Houses of Parliament in LondonReuters

EU citizens with ‘settled status’ or ‘pre-settled status’ to stay in the UK will be able to access healthcare, pensions and other benefits and services in the UK.

However, the Government said, the existing reciprocal healthcare arrangements for UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK would "probably end".

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