Jun 18

9 myths about moving abroad after Brexit: Are they fact or fiction?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Since the UK voted by the narrowest of margins to leave Europe in the June 23rd 2016 referendum, one of the hottest questions on many people’s lips (besides, ‘what was David Cameron thinking?!’) has been: ‘what happens if I want to move to Europe?’

Thanks to the uncertainty even now—two years down the line—about what will happen when (or if) Brexit ever comes to pass, there are obviously many myths floating around about moving abroad after Brexit.

Yet amongst all the aprehension, what we really have to ask ourselves is:

Which sources can be trusted?

And are there any definitive answers?

Here, we take a look at nine of the most pervasive.


Moving abroad will still be easy after Brexit

Since the new ‘official’ deadline for Brexit (March 29th 2019) was announced, many outlets have reported on the eager Brits that are scrambling to leave the UK before Brexit.

This makes perfect sense, of course.

Currently, you can still move freely and easily to Europe without the need to submit paperwork or apply for visas. Beyond warning your family and the taxman of your plans, there’s really no one else you have to tell!

However, moving and residing abroad post-Brexit is likely to become problematic, as you’ll have to follow formal channels and probably apply for some form of residency. So no, it won’t be as easy as it is now.



I can skip paying UK taxes if I move to Europe

One of the most common myths floating around about moving abroad, period, is the idea that UK-residents can skip taxes by moving to Europe.

While not truly Brexit related, it is worth addressing this pervasive myth about life overseas.

Many expats believe that simply spending most of their time abroad means they no longer have to pay tax in their home country. However, this is not strictly true. In fact, HMRC (the UK tax authority) will only consider somebody entirely non-domiciled (meaning, they do not have to pay UK taxes) if they no longer have assets in the UK and aren’t considering the prospect of moving home in the future.

Whether you move abroad pre- or post-Brexit then, you’ll probably still need to pay UK taxes.



EU residents based in the UK must move home

Thanks to rampant xenophobia, EU residents based in the UK might want to move home after Brexit, but they absolutely won’t have to. Details are still unclear, but it’s likely they’ll need to go through the same steps as Brits abroad to confirm their residency. Arriving in the UK after Brexit might also prove problematic.

Either way, the UK should hope that EU nationals still want and are able to move to the UK after Brexit given that, as reported by The Guardian, they work to subsidise and prop up the NHS.



Brits abroad will no longer have access to healthcare in Europe

If simply ‘having access’ is the concern, it’s highly unlikely that healthcare for Brits abroad will be outright refused post-Brexit.

However, it is likely that Brits will wave goodbye to their subsidised EHIC status and may have to look at paying for their healthcare when in Europe, emergency or otherwise. That means, in turn, that accessing healthcare may not be as simple as it currently is either.

For Brits already living abroad on Brexit deadline day though, your rights to same state-funded healthcare as citizens in your country of residence will remain in place says the BBC.



Buying property abroad will become harder

This is one of those misleading myths about moving abroad post-Brexit because it implies that buying property abroad is somehow affected by the fact the UK is currently in the EU.

In reality, the laws, rules and regulations surrounding buying property abroad and property rights, regardless of UK citizenship and EU status, are determined by each individual country.

Basically, buying property will be no easier or harder than it is right now.



Moving to Europe will jeopardise my pension

Around 247,000 British pensioners live in Europe, many of whom claim state pensions.

Will the political situation affect their payments if they choose to stay abroad after Brexit? Should pensioners currently in the UK forget about moving to Europe post-Brexit?


The British government confirmed that pensioners in Europe will still get the same annual rises in pension payments as their counterparts living in the motherland.

This will even cover those living in countries technically outside of the EU, like Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland, as they are part of the European Economic Area.



If I move abroad, I’ll still have the right to roam in Europe

Sadly, this one is false. After Brexit, the UK citizens’ right to roam (relatively passport- and visa-free) throughout Europe will disappear.

It’s assumed that some kind of Esta scheme (like that which the US uses to assess potential travellers and visitors wishing to enter) will take hold. As with the US version, the chances are that there will be an associated cost.



Moving to Europe will be more expensive

Yes…and no. When it comes to things like visas, residency cards and other bureaucratic hoops through which Brits will probably have to jump through should they want to move to Europe after Brexit, yes, it will probably be more expensive.

However, there’s plenty of scope to cut cost in other aspects of the move, such as by comparing international removals options with Buzzmove. With five years of experience and 100,000+ satisfied customers, it’s the no-brainer option for those looking to relocate to Europe in the coming years.

Swings and roundabouts, we guess?



Moving to Europe is a terrible idea

Regardless of the likely post-Brexit red tape, moving to Europe is not a terrible idea, especially if it’s something you’ve always planned on doing. While it’s probably advisable to try and move before the Brexit deadline, doing so after March 29th 2019 isn’t the end of the world either.



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