by Sylwia Heller
Some of the practical issues which should be considered after Brexit is relevance of some European documents. Will there be a need to apply for visa to travel abroad? Will European Health Insurance Card be still effective?
For the next two years the UK will remain part of the EU as Art 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon says. So, during that time British citizens can continue to travel freely within the EU. It is very probable that visas will be necessary to go abroad after that time, however. So, the ability of British citizens to work and live abroad will be extremely limited. But, it does not mean that tourists will be trapped within the UK’s borders. There are current arrangements in place between the UK and non-European countries to allow British citizens to visit those places without visas for up to 90 days. There is also a possibility that similar arrangements will be negotiated by Britain with EU countries.
Another issue which may worry British citizens is the European Health Insurance Card carried by travellers to be able to use medical treatment while abroad but within the EU. As nothing will change in the next two years these cards are still valid. It is possible that these cards will be still in use after that time if Britain manages to operate as a country within a single Economic European Area for that purpose. But, it all depends on the outcome of negotiations, which are yet to come. Britain has also got another option to negotiate with single countries a possibility for its citizens to receive free urgent medical treatment. Such agreements are already in place between the UK and Australia and New Zealand. Similarly, British driving licence, which includes a flag of the EU will probably have to be replaced after two years once a new design is created.
There will probably be no changes in the situation of the 3 million EU nationals living in the UK. Any laws which will be introduced in two years in relation to immigrants will not work backwards. So, mass deportations of EU citizens will not take place. Similarly, 1.2. million of UK nationals living abroad will retain their status if they plan to continue to live abroad. More detailed information about what will happen to immigrants and British emigrants wil become clearer during the two years of negotiations.