How will Brexit affect Brits living in the EU?

With UK is due to leave the European Union next month. But with an estimated 1.3 million British nationals living in the EU, there’s still a lot of uncertainty around their future. Although most leaders have said these individuals lives shouldn’t be disrupted, of course, there will still be some implications for anyone living or working abroad.

One of the biggest concerns is that a deal still hasn’t been reached and agreed by both sides. And even with a deal, a change in exchange rates would be likely, as well as changes to pensions and healthcare. So, what could the impact be going forward? Let’s take a look:

Visas and Work

Since the UK joined the EU, citizens have been able to travel, live, and work freely in any member state. However, after the UK leaves, there will be no automatic right for Brits to live in EU member states.

Although a deal could be made allowing them to remain in the countries they’re living in, nothing has been officially agreed at the moment. This means that residents might have to apply for residency, visas, and work permits after March 29th.


Mutual agreements between member states mean that UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU are entitled to free state healthcare. However, these agreements would be withdrawn under no-deal Brexit, which could mean residents would have to buy their own health insurance.

In Spain alone, the UK paid out around £675 million in 2014/2015 on healthcare for British pensioners. Those currently relying on this support could, going forward, be facing high premiums. It could even, in extreme cases, mean healthcare is no longer affordable for expats.


A change in the value of the pound could become an issue to anyone claiming a pension in the EU. If the pound becomes weaker against the euro, for example, pensioners would see a reduction in their income.

Furthermore, the current framework for pensioners living in the EU means that they are entitled to yearly increases. Anyone retired in non-EU countries isn’t entitled to this. And since there’s been no bilateral agreement agreed, UK nationals living in the EU could be at risk of losing out financially.

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