No-deal Brexit could send thousands of expats home

A BRITISH Government memo, sent to Whitehall departments according to reports, reveals that officials are preparing for the return home of up to 250,000 expatriates, if a Brexit no-deal scenario occurs.

The memo states that officials expect between 50,000 and 250,000 British expatriates living in the EU could return to the UK if the country leaves the bloc without a deal.

Around 150,000 Britons could return in the year following the UK’s EU exit, with around 30,000 moving back in the first three months under a “worst-case” scenario. An additional 100,000 are forecast to return in the following year.

The Department for Work and Pensions predicted around 50,000 could return to Britain as part of more optimistic estimates.

Roughly 1.3 million British citizens live across the EU, and

around 40% of returning expats could be pensioners, according to UK Government sources.

It means that public services, including the NHS and welfare system, could feel the pressure as a result.

A Government spokesperson told the British media that predictions could vary, especially should expats receive reassurance, from Spain and other EU countries, that their current living situation and rights will not be affected if the UK does leave without a deal.

Concerns have also risen about a possible “hostile environment” towards returning British expats, if they try to claim benefits.

But the Government spokesperson said: “We are looking at options to see what more we can do to ensure that any returning UK nationals get immediate access to the benefits and support, to which they are entitled.”


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Posted by on Feb 1 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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