Tag Archives: EU Referendum

How Will Brexit Affect Expats?

 

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Matt Brown, Polling Station

Matt Brown, Polling Station

 

With around 1.3 million Brits living in Europe, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union on June 23rd is likely to have an affect on the expats living across countries such as Spain, Portugal and France. The European Union has, since its formation in 1993, afforded its current 28 member states reciprocal benefits in healthcare, employment and pensions. It allows citizens the freedom to move and work across Europe.

As Britain plans to leave the EU, currently within the next two years, there are fears that these benefits will be withdrawn, and the expats left high and dry without any rights. Some fear that once Britain leaves, expats will have to apply for temporary visas or even seek asylum in their resident country. In reality, this is unlikely to happen as no-one would benefit from such dramatic and chaotic measures. As it stands everything is in flux.

Negotiations will continue over the next 24 months, to ensure expats in countries are able to continue on living in the manner to which they’ve been accustomed.

How this all affects expats will be entirely dependent on the deal the UK Government strike with the EU. There are some major concerns, especially around employment and pensions. Some worry that they will no longer be in a position to seek out jobs across Europe. In 15 EU member states a rule exists which only allows them to hire outside the zone, if no-one else can be found.

In terms of pensions, as it stands those living within the EEA and Switzerland see their pensions protected and pegged to inflation and wage increases. Once it exits the EU Britain will have two options: to keep to this arrangement or follow the policy that exists in Canada. Those that retire to Canada see their pension frozen.

The good news is that there are viable options for the British Government. There is already within Europe, an agreement called the European Economic Area. Membership of the EEA includes countries within the EU and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. For the three not in the European Union they can still enjoy the single market. Switzerland itself is not a member of either the EU or EEA but is a member of the single market. Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work as EU and EEA nationals.

It’s not just expats who may be affected by Brexit. Every time we travel to Europe we are currently entitled to free healthcare via the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Outside the EU and EEA, Britain’s will not be allowed to access hospitals or medical care whilst on holiday.

With so little information currently available there is no way to predict the effects of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. It will be a case of sitting and waiting to see what’s negotiated. It will be an interesting and tense time.

If you are considering a move to abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

 

 

Are You Eligible To Vote in The EU Referendum?

For other useful articles and tips on moving to new countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

 

Jirka Matousek, Brussels

Jirka Matousek, Brussels

When the UK goes to the voting booths on Thursday June 23rd 2016, it won’t be to pick a new Prime Minister but to decide whether we stay in or leave the European Union.

If you’re one of the five million Brits who live abroad, you could be eligible to vote. Initially, if you haven’t already you’ll need to register to vote. There are certain restrictions around registration.

British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years are not eligible to register to vote in UK elections. To work out whether you fit into this category, the 15-year-old rule begins from the last day that you were on the electoral register in the UK. You’ll need to contact the last local authority you were registered with in the UK. You can find their contact details here.

Those that were too young to vote before they left the UK can also register. There are also rules around British Citizenship within families. See here for more information.

If you want to register to vote in England, Scotland or Wales as an overseas voter for the EU referendum, register here.  To vote in Northern Ireland, visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland Website and download the correct form.

The deadline for registration in the EU Referendum is by Monday 16th May.

If you are eligible to vote and are already registered, living miles from the UK will mean you won’t be able to visit the actual voting booths. Overseas voters have two options when casting their votes:

– Voting by Post: In England, Scotland and Wales, individual voters will be entitled to apply by post to vote. First check with your local electoral registration office that you are correctly registered. Once registered you’ll need to fill in an application form, print the replies, sign and date and send back to the registration office. There are strict deadlines for registration and if you apply too late, you won’t be allowed to vote. Check here for deadlines.

Postal ballot papers will be sent to all eligible overseas voters that are registered to vote by post in time for the first dispatch; between 23 and 27 May. Those that apply to register at a later date will be sent ballot papers after their registration is confirmed.

Your ballot paper must arrive back by 10pm on 23 June 2016 to be counted in the EU referendum.

If you live abroad it’s worth considering the time delay in getting the ballot papers back to make them count. If it looks like you’re likely to miss the 10pm deadline on the day of – voting, it may be worth thinking about the following:

– Voting by Proxy: This means that you can nominate someone to vote on your behalf. The rules around this changed last year so make sure you have the most up-to-date details. You will also need to fill in a proxy vote application form.  You can nominate anyone who is individually registered to vote on your behalf, however you will be required to give a reason for the nomination.

– One of the eligible routes is that you are a citizen living abroad.

There is a deadline for voting by proxy, which is normally 5pm, 6 working days before an election, but check these details closer to the time.

Visit the AboutMyVote.co.uk for all the essential details.

If you are thinking about moving abroad, PSS International Removals can help. For more information about PSS International Removals and our services contact us now at https://www.pssremovals.com

PSS International Removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 33 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.