Precarious prospect of Brits in EU

EVEN MORE uncertain than the prospects of our EU national colleagues here in the UK (see here) is the fate of our many members who are UK nationals resident in the EU - in NUJ Brussels Branch, NUJ Paris Branch and NUJ Netherlands Branch, for example. There's nothing firm yet on what the 27 member states will offer them.

The NUJ conference room's mural

The NUJ conference room's mural reflects the many members it has in Branches in continental Europe, depicting famous buidlings in Paris, Brussels (the Atomium, centre) and Amsterdam (the Oude Kerk)

Immigration lawyers Fragoman managing partner Caron Pope noted in the Evening Standard in August that we haven't yet seen any details coming from any of the EU member states on how they will treat UK nationals. Caron advises that in the event of "no deal," UK nationals living abroad would be regarded as "third party" nationals by the 27 immigration regimes operated by EU member states, with their different rules on length of stay, salaries, qualifications and good character.

Non-EU national partners of French and Belgian nationals can't work in those countries unless they are married. France does not regard an unmarried partner as part of the family of one of its citizens. In Belgium and Luxembourg, non-EU spouses of citizens need special permission to be able to work. It's not even clear how post-Brexit UK nationals would apply for permission to stay and to work.

The UK apparently concluded an agreement in September 2017 whereby UK nationals living in the EU will continue to get increases to their UK pensions paid to them in those countries.

But the Association of British Insurers (ABI) warned the Commons Brexit Committee at the end of July that it might become "illegal" to pay pensions into the accounts of British pensioners abroad should the UK crash out of the EU without a deal. Brexit Committee Chair Hillary Benn asked ABI's general director Huw Evans, "They might find that they couldn't be paid their pension - is that what you are saying?" Evans replied that, yes, "That is a perfectly plausible risk in the future if no agreement is reached in some countries of the EU."