British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will formally invoke Article 50, the two-year mechanism for exit from the EU, by the end of March 2017. As this deadline draws closer many British expats and non–British EU citizens living in the UK are voicing concerns about what effect Brexit will have on them and their families.
The UK’s future relationship with the EU following Brexit is still unknown. Nothing will change overnight. Britain will remain an EU member until Article 50 negotiations have concluded. After which point the treaties that govern membership of the EU will no longer apply to the UK.
During the negotiation stage, British expats and EU inpats to the UK may experience little in the way of change. The UK will still be bound to adhere to EU policy, meaning that European Economic Area (EEA) nationals can enter the UK and remain there as workers, students or self-sufficient people. Likewise, the rights of British expats living and working in other EU countries will remain unchanged.
However, the unknown is what will happen after the exit process concludes. EU citizens in the UK and British expats residing throughout the EU are understandably worried about their future. Amid this environment of turmoil, preparation and stability are key factors.