If UK referendum result decides to stay in the EU, there are a set of measures negotiated by Mr. Cameron related mainly with immigration, reinforcement of sovereignty and the competitiveness of the British economy.
But if your main concern is what will happen if UK leaves the EU, just when you were planning to retire under the Spanish Sun or just having your holiday home, keep reading.
A referendum is basically a vote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can take part, normally giving a “Yes” or “No” answer to a question. Whichever side gets more than half of all votes cast is considered to have won.
- Travelling to other countries. Generally speaking, expats should retain their free movement rights within Europe and will retain all their rights following a withdrawal. That said, this has not been confirmed in the European Parliament – and will need to be discussed should David Cameron set a referendum date – but precedent suggests that all EU citizens should keep their rights after any Treaty changes.
- Currency exchange: Talking with the expert from Currency Index, Tom Arnold:
“The problem is uncertainty. The Pound has already dropped around 10% against the Euro from the highs it achieved at the end of last year. The important thing to understand is that the rate will not simply snap back up after the referendum. Buying now is probably the best time from a rate perspective because the rate is likely to drop over the coming months and will not necessarily recover back quickly. If a client has not yet found the right property or has but isn’t yet ready for completion, they can still secure their currency using a forward contract, which we can help them to arrange”.
- Healthcare system. At the moment, the large British expat community in Spain gets free access to Spanish GPs and their hospital treatment is paid for by the NHS. After they become permanent residents Spain pays for their hospital treatment. Similar arrangements are in place with other EU countries. If Britain leaves the EU but remains in the single market, or the European Economic Area as it is known, it might be able to continue with this arrangement, according to a House of Commons library research note.
In case that the UK leaves the EU after the referendum, the minimum period after a vote to leave would be two years. During that time Britain would continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making
The most certain thing at the moment is that all this questions have not been answered yet. However, due to the big British community living overseas at the moment, particularly in Spain, it is expected that in the event of the Brexit, UK signs bilateral agreements similar to other European countries not members of the EU.
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