What can British expats do about Brexit?

What can British expats do about Brexit?

If you’re British and living outside the UK in Europe, there’s a fair chance you’ve wondered what the future holds. Or if you’re in the UK and thinking of moving or retiring to the continent those plans that seemed simple may now appear much more complex.

It’s also worth also noting that the majority of Brits still want to be able to travel in Europe just as they have done for most of their lives. According to a recent report in the Independent, a staggering 89% of Brits want a second passport to protect them against Brexit…where were they all in the referendum?!

But don’t give up hope yet! First off, nobody knows what the world’s going to look like 2019 and with the recent election results it seems hard to see any sort of meaningful exit plan emerging any time soon. The sheer logistics involved in rewriting thousands and thousands of laws and trade agreements is mind-boggling, especially when the process of negotiating those laws hasn’t even begun.

Where do you begin?

At this stage it’s probably worth considering the worst-case scenario: where British citizens are no longer part of the Schengen area and governments on both sides haven’t been able to put in place agreements that protect those of us who live in mainland Europe. It hopefully won’t come to that but if your entire life and family rests on being able to stay where you are, you probably need to plan accordingly.

Without being part of the Schengen area, there are still a number of ways that British citizens may be able to live and work in Europe. If possible, a second passport is increasingly becoming a one of the most valuable assets to have. Here are some of the options:

  • Through ancestry - do you or your partner have parents, grandparents or even great grandparents that were born or citizens of another EU country?
  • Can you invest in other countries? Many EU countries offer investment schemes that allow you live there. As the UK is still part of the EU, these investment schemes are blocked but after Brexit these schemes should be available as they are to any other country outside the EU. You might be surprised to know that as little as a 250,000 euro property investment can allow you to live in the EU.
  • Retirement - this may not be you yet if you’re a budding digital nomad but if you are close to retirement, a retirement visa can be had with as little as 25,000 euros a year. 
  • Through marriage…if you haven’t already tied the knot with the right person who just happens to have a non-UK EU passport, we can’t help you there! Get busy! If you have, read on.

So where do you start? If you think you currently may qualify through one of the methods mentioned then a great place to start is to run through the questions on wherecani.live - it takes 5 minutes and you can see your options now and even how they would look after a hard Brexit (see example below). You never know, you might even see options for other parts of the world that might get your travel juices flowing and Brexit may not seem the problem it currently seems!

Example Brexit results page

Image: Example Brexit results page

Moving to Spain? Your Spain Visa Guide

Do you dream of settling in Spain?  Spain holds many attractions for potential tourists and ex...

Live in the UK on the Tier 1 Investor Visa

For high net worth individuals, the Tier 1 Investor Visa is a great pathway into the United Ki...

How Sephardic Jews can get citizenship to Spain and Portugal

The governments of Spain and Portugal have passed laws to allow descendants of Sephardic Jews to ap...

Author image

Ian Ryder

Ian is a co-founder of wherecani.live. He has lived and worked in 3 countries and now settled just south of Barcelona.

Start the Smart Wizard!