On 23 June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union and cut the economic and political partnership ties with 28 European countries. Over the past two years, we have seen a lot of news, and even more uncertainty. Here’s what we know so far regarding Brexit.

Official leaving date

UK’s official EU leaving date is Friday, 29 March 2019 at 11pm. This deadline can be extended if all 28 European countries agree. Current news show that the extension possibility is very likely to happen.


Current agreement status:

As of October 28th 2018, no final agreement with the EU has been reached. This means that the UK has not made any deals to ensure the country can operate normally after the Brexit cut off date. This includes no information on the country’s trade deal or even things like pension tax for UK’s expats living abroad.

However, here are a couple of things we do know:

What will happen to expats in UK

The Home Office frequently updates its subscribers on the Brexit news related to foreigners staying and living in the UK. As of October 12th 2018, the Home Office announced that the EU Settlement Scheme will be fully open by 30 March 2019. Residents will have up until 30 June 2021 to apply.

If you want to receive Home Office updates click here.

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme allows UK residents to apply for a pre-settled or settled status which allows them to live in the UK after December 2020.

A pre-settled status allows residents to stay in the UK for another 5 years, giving them enough time to apply for British citizenship.

Residents with a settled status are offered an indefinite stay.

Both settled and pre-settled residents will have to pay a £65 fee if they’re over 16, or £32.50 fee if they’re under 16.


What will happen in the event of a no deal Brexit?

A no deal Brexit erases almost every relationship the UK had with the EU. This will affect everyday life of most UK residents and UK expats living abroad, as well as hundreds of thousands businesses currently operating in the UK and EU. British airlines will also have to seek permission from each individual EU country to be able to fly on their regular pre-Brexit routes.

International driving permits will be required to make sure UK citizens can drive in the EU. Even the return of faulty or dangerous products purchased outside of the UK might need as new process. The ending of the cooperation between UK and EU family courts could see horrible consequences for families going through a divorce or child custody cases involving an EU country.

And this are only just a few things that would happen in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Will there be a second referendum?

It is unclear whether or not the UK can actually trigger a second referendum and give the citizens another chance at casting their Brexit vote.

Lord Kerr, who actually wrote Article 50 which triggered UK’s EU leave, is urging for a second referendum, along with several other politicians and millions of UK citizens. In order for the second referendum to be considered, it needs to get through the Parliament where it will also need votes of the majority of the Conservative party. So far, only a few of UK Conservatives openly opposed the idea of Brexit, however, a second referendum seems unlikely to happen at this stage.

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