British Nationals Abroad: EU Countries

Department for Exiting the European Union written question – answered at on 2 October 2019.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on (a) residency and (b) healthcare rights for UK nationals living in the EU of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Chair, High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill Select Committee (Commons) , Chair, High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill Select Committee (Commons) , The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

The Government has always been clear that the best way to protect citizens’ rights is to secure a deal with the EU.

In the event of no deal, the UK has made a unilateral offer to protect the rights of EU citizens residing in the UK by exit day, and this includes continued entitlement to healthcare. Where possible, we have also made unilateral commitments to protect the rights of UK nationals living in the EU.

We welcome that all Member States have now put in place measures to protect the residency rights of UK nationals living in the EU by exit day but there are still areas where we hope that Member States will improve their offers to UK nationals, in line with what we have offered. We will continue to press for reciprocity and ask Member States to communicate their detailed plans as soon as possible.

Reciprocal healthcare arrangements cannot be fully protected unilaterally by the UK. That is why we are seeking arrangements at EU level or with Member States to apply the current social security coordination framework, including reciprocal healthcare, in full until the end of 2020.

To support UK-insured individuals living in the EU before exit day, the UK Government will also, for six-months after exit day (from 1 November 2019 until 30 April 2020), reimburse healthcare costs or pay providers directly where necessary.

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