The document, written by Jane Golding and Jeremy Morgan, two British lawyers living in the EU, was published by a coalition of 10 groups that represent British citizens who’ve made the choice to leave their home and move to another European country. Among the groups were Bremain, in Spain, and the British Community Committee of France.
The main argument put forward by the Alternative White Paper is that since the referendum “gave no mandate to alter the rights” of expats (who are estimated by the authors to be between 1.2 and 2.1 million in number), and considering that these expats would have originally made the move believing that their EU citizenship rights were “irrevocable”, it would be completely unreasonable to neglect their needs and leave their futures uncertain.
The document urges that everything must be done to ensure expats’ rights are not negatively affected and that these steps are taken as “a matter of urgency to bring an end to the anxiety” many expats are feeling over their future. Golding and Morgan make a case for all of the pre-Brexit rights of expats to be included in any Article 50 withdrawal agreement.
Issues highlighted in the Alternative White Paper include expats’ right to study, the right to have qualifications recognised in another country, the right to work, and their entitlement to healthcare. Another notable issue is concern over pensions, in particular whether expats’ pensions will continue to be uprated in line with inflation. The authors emphasise that all these rights are “indivisible”; it is impossible to take one away without having an undesirable knock-on effect on the others.
Theresa May has previously expressed the need to guarantee the rights of both British expats living in the EU and the EU citizens already living Britain at the earliest possible time. The report acknowledges May’s statement regarding this but mentions that since the Prime Minister has not yet confirmed which exact rights she wishes to guarantee, there is still much cause for concern.
If you’re an expat, then in this uncertain time it is important that you receive all the professional financial advice necessary so that you can best protect your money. Whatever the future holds in terms of Brexit, Blacktower’s financial advisers will continue to keep abreast of all the recent developments, helping you decide to do what’s best with your finances. Our range of expat financial services include giving detailed financial advice for expats during Brexit. This will include everything from wealth management to regular savings to setting up a QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension).
So, if you’re worried about any aspect of your financial management and how it may be affected by Britain leaving the EU, contact a Blacktower adviser today.