As Brexit plans are still being finalised many questions have risen as to how difficult it will be for those who want to work abroad in Europe. Currently British citizens are entitled to travel anywhere in the EU simply by presenting their passport. The border guards are only instructed to check if the passport belongs to you, where you plan to go and what you intend to do is none of their business. But once the UK officially leaves the EU British citizens will then become third country nationals with no automatic right of admission.
Can we still work abroad in Europe?
In term of working abroad in the EU, it will become a lot more complex for UK workers to find work in europe. However this will depend on the final agreement that is still to be made. As of now populations of the members of the EU are entitled to free movement of labour across the union.
However if the UK is no longer a member it will be a lot more difficult to secure work in the remaining 27 countries in the EU. This will result in having to apply for a visa or work permit in these countries. However this will all depend on the final agreement that is made when the UK leave, a potential deal could still include free movement for labour as a condition.
Why the UK should join the European Economic Area
The most viable option after Brexit would be for the UK to join the European Economic Area (EEA) which would maintain the single marker. This would mean free movement of goods, services, capital and of course people between the remaining member states. This would then have a much smaller effect on the UK migrants already working in the EU states.
Despite voting to reject EU membership in 1994 Norway has remained in the EEA. If this is decided for the UK the free movement is preserved so British workers will continue to have equal treatment abroad as would EU workers in the UK.
Once the leaving arrangements has been made there are few things we can be certain about. British citizens will not need visa to travel into the EU on holiday however we have to pass through the non-EU citizens queue which will mean a longer wait in the airport.
Since Brexit was announced the pound has significantly gone weaker and this doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon or return to its original stronger value. Holidays have and will also become a lore more expensive and it will also have an effect on flight prices.
One of the leave campaigns biggest promise was to take back control of our borders however ministers have failed to mention anything about how immigration will be controlled after the UK leaves the EU. Two years on and there is little public debate about how that will be done or what the immigration system will look like once free movement for both UK and EU citizens has ended.
There is enormous pressure mounting on Theresa May from a number of businesses who fear they won’t be able to find workers that they need after we leave the EU.
In the longer term the Home Office plan includes a five year permit for professionals and highly skilled individuals, with the right to stay longer with their families in Britain. However for all other European migrants especially the lower skilled may lose the right to settle as May has now publicly suggested. “We will seek views on the settlement rights for other EU citizens but there will be no expectation of settlement for those arriving during the implementation period who are not in a designated settlement category such as highly skilled workers,” she states.
The final decision on Brexit has still to be made so as of now many are still unsure about the extent of the effect it will have on living and working abroad. We will update this page when new changes have been implemented.