Recently there has been more political in-fighting over Brexit after Labour MPs tried to block the Tories’ Great Repeal Bill. With Labour claiming it to be a “power grab” by the Government, Jeremy Corbyn ordered his MPs to vote against Brexit secretary David Davis’ plans to write EU regulations into UK law.
The Bill repeals the ‘European Communities Act 1972’, which was introduced after the UK voted to join the EU (or EC as it was back then.) These particular EU laws cover things such as environmental regulation, workers’ rights and financial services. By transferring EU law to UK legislation with this bill, it is claimed the Government could pick and choose which legislation to keep without recourse to any Parliamentary votes.
However, the Bill was passed through Parliament on 11th September. Ministers now have the huge task of preventing uncertainty among the public and still having to plug several legal “black holes” in the legislation. The Government has promised that “the same rules and laws will apply on the day after exit as on the day before” as quoted in The Prime Minister’s foreword to the White Paper ‘Legislating for the United Kingdom’s Withdrawal from the European Union’.
The Bill has not only split Parliament. It has also worried many expats living and working overseas, resulting in an official response to the EU Brexit negotiating team from the groups ‘British in Europe’ and ‘the 3million.’ They say that May’s proposals, if adopted, would represent a “severe reduction of the current rights” enjoyed by Britons in Europe and last week they expressed fears that Britons would be the “sacrificial lambs” in the Conservatives’ mission to reduce immigration.
They also added that May’s offer looks to curtail citizens’ rights to pensions and the ability to move around the EU to work. If adopted, the UK proposal could also prevent them from returning to Britain for work or retirement with their EU spouses or to have an elderly parent move in with them in Europe.
The EU is very firm in what it wants from any Brexit deal, insisting that all rights currently enjoyed by EU nationals in the UK and British nationals on the continent and in Ireland, are fully protected. But officials have warned that offering less than the rights currently enjoyed by EU nationals would have serious reciprocal repercussions on British Expats.
This could lead to obstinacy from the EU for Britons abroad, including the deprivation of the rights of the elderly to free healthcare and more.
As the deadline for Brexit creeps closer and with Government in Britain and the EU once again at loggerheads, exactly how the final deal is going to affect expats (both British and European) in the long-run is still up in the air.
Perhaps the best advice for British Expats who intend to stay in Spain would be to ensure you have got your Padron and Residencia in place which will surely strengthen your position as to your rights as a Spanish Resident regardless of Brexit.