With each new headline and constantly changing Brexit situation, expats are understandably feeling somewhat confused and uncertain about their futures.
Tensions remain high as the negotiations between the UK and EU reach breaking point. There appear to be far more questions than answers at this time and this is causing much confusions for everyone.
Is there now the potential for there to be no deal at all? What might the implications be is this were happen?
There continues to be so many unknowns.
The Promise of Soft Brexit
In July developments suggested a shift from a hard Brexit to a softer one, which was met with a sigh of relief for those already living in the EU and anyone considering moving. Yet, it saw cabinet ministers Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resign in protest against this approach.
Both Boris and David, among others are of the opinion that this plan does not meet the results of the referendum and would leave the UK half in and half out, whilst remaining bound by EU regulations.
Soft or hard, it can be expected that even in the best of outcomes there will no doubt be changes and these will likely impact expats living within the EU – for example there may well be issues accessing personal pensions.
A softer Brexit strategy would involve the maintenance of close relationships between the UK and the EU and the greater potential for that all important freedom of movement. This approach is certainly favoured by European expatriates and those who voted to remain in the 2016 referendum.
The importance of the UK being able to continue working and living in EU countries is recognised within a soft Brexit plan. And, the promise of successful negotiations offering expats the hope of keeping their rights.
However, free movement is likely to be affected with greater restrictions, regardless of the agreed strategy.
Deal or No-Deal?
Now, with more recent progressions over the last few weeks, seeing the European Commission’s apparent failure to play ball in negotiations, could we end up with no deal at all?
Such concerns were raised after International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox claimed the chances of a no-deal Brexit are at 60-40.
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis claimed, “The UK Parliament does not want no deal but it’s certainly not going to be pushed around by the European Parliament.”
David Davis went onto say “We have two things on our side – we have our own currency and we are masters of our own destiny in a way that EU member countries are not.”
Mr David insists that EU member states have more to lose from failure to reach an agreement than the UK.
What Is Clear?
What is clear, is that not a lot is clear at the moment!
Both sides have something to lose according to Mr Davis, who is urging Britons not to panic. He added, “Specific countries and specific sectors have got large amounts to lose. As we get closer to the brink, there will be internal pressure within the EU.”
Rumours of the possibility of a re-vote and second EU referendum continue as tensions rise. Might this be the way forward? Would anything change?
As it stands, all expats can really do is remain hopeful. If a softer Brexit is possible, expats concerns may well be mostly alleviated. If there is no deal, there will be implications, of which we can only hazard a guess as to how they might impact expats.
The question in everyone’s mind remains – is no deal better than a bad deal?
Only time will tell as the situation continues to unfold.