What the lack of correct political representation
is costing expat Brits in their pockets!
The Determination of International Laws.The international laws which affect all expatriates are discussed, agreed to, and signed by the British Government in the name of all British Citizens. Unfortunately the Expatriate British Citizen is never consulted through any process of Representation.
The agreements are drawn up by Whitehall Civil Servants according to
the perceived interests of the British State . The Minister of
State involved is unlikely to understand the effect on the expatriates.
Other politicians, unless pre-warned, are even mor unaware. It is absolutely necessary that they should know what ishappening in OUR name. It is necessary that in each population there is someone who can transmit the citizens’ feelings to the senior politicians (the cabinet) and to Whitehall. In democratic countries there is a feedback from local councils (or from individuals) to MPs to Government. An individual or someone acting for a group [say in Bristol ] can in Britain explore this channel of communication.
THE EXPATRIATE BRITISH CITIZEN usually CANNOT do this. He/she has no appropriate Representation.
Britain has the closest set of treaty links with The European Union.
Essentially it is supposed to mean that a British Citizen can move freely
without loss of benefit between the States of the Union – This is enshrined in
EU Law – But in certain instances the British Government fails in its
The British Citizen elsewhere in the world can be even more disadvantaged. Because of this yawning gap in political communication, the expatriate is disadvantaged, but the disadvantage varies from country to country
(within the EU) and from continent to continent in the World. It would seem that
The Citizen abroad, is a Citizen ignored.
A. The European Union
Many of the problems within the EU are discussed in the
Here I give little more than headings – it is necessary to go to the
blogsite and explore the various entries to learn more
The relevant EU laws are:-
REGULATION (EC) No 883/2004 [The Law on Social
Security Co-ordination in the EU]
REGULATION (EC) No 987/2009 [Implementation of this Basic
Law] Both are binding documents – here and there breached by
No expatriate – neither the young nor the old– is entitled to live and work in the EU without the backing of these and other EU laws. The expatriate needs Representation when changes are proposed.
The legal area is clouded by the Double Taxation Agreements between
every separate nation which interfere with the operation of the continent wide EU laws.
There is no political interest in the UK for creating a level playing
field in Europe . The expatriate has no easy way of influencing a
debate on any of these laws. He needs Representation.
The numbers of expatriates who have actively spoken out in France , Italy and Spain in any political sense, could easily sit round one table. We need a proper channel of political communication.
A.1 Health charges . The EU law indicates that all British pensioners (holders of an S1 form) should receive cover for health costs as though they lived in Britain . In Spain they do. In France they do not – The top-up cost in France is between 1,000 to 3,000 euros a year for an aging couple increasing with age.
A.2 Extra Benefits for the disabled and elderly. The UK
Government is still extremely reluctantly accepting that it should
make payments of the Winter Fuel Payment (worth either £200 or
£300 per home), Attendance Allowance, and other benefits to expats in Europe. Only the EU Commission has stood up for the British
expatriate. The disabled expatriate, the aged mother who has out
of necessity gone to live with her children in France have no
power to stand up for themselves. They need Representation of
A.3 Double taxation. Problems in this area are outside of EU regulation and relate to agreements between each pair of countries. Those expatriates who receive a government service pension from the UK in France [Military personnel, Police, Fireman, Teachers, – curiously Nurses are not so disadvantaged] pay out £100’s and sometimes £1000’s in Tax to the UK authorities more
than they would if their incomes were taxed in France . In Spain such persons do not have to declare such incomes at all (!) as indeed neither does a French person in similar circumstances in Britain.
Again the British expatriate has no system of Representation to protest in any political manner at such injustice.
A.4 The Military Covenant. The current British Government has declared its respect for the ex-serviceman. There are those who want to live in the EU beyond the UK and of course elsewhere in the world.
Under EU law they are entitled to move within the union and obtain any rights which
they would enjoy if otherwise they lived within the UK .
Regarding the three items above:-
- Their available incomes would be less (in France ) than if they lived
in Spain .
- They would pay a fair proportion of their health costs (in France )
- The reception of the Winter Fuel Payment would at the moment be
doubtful when they achieve 60 years of age.
The ex-servicemen will lose out as do all others; but moreover the ‘covenant’ would be breached. They also need Representation!
A.4 Other Financial Problems for the expatriate..
The chief is the lack of financial freedom in the use of banks and
If you do not already possess a UK based account or it disappears because your bank goes bust, then it is extremely unlikely that you can open an account from a non-UK address. This is not a legal constraint on the banks. It is their own convention. It surely should be illegal to so discriminate within the EU.
No-one ever takes this up politically because no-one Represents the
B. BEYOND THE EUROPEAN UNION
This reference states the legal history of the matter of Frozen Pensions.
The State Retirement Pension of expatriates in Commonwealth countries
such as Australia , Canada & New Zealand have their pensions frozen at the
level at which they existed when they moved. It is not frozen in the USA.
It is frozen in the Faroe Islands , but not in Iceland . It is not frozen in Turkey but is frozen in Albania.
The situation is chaotic and absurd.
The expatriates are not adequately Represented in Parliament.
Other examples of frozen/unfrozen pensions.
In the tax haven of Liechtenstein [principality between Switzerland
and Austria ] the British State pension IS NOT frozen.
In the tax haven of Monaco [principality in the south of France ] the
British State Pension IS frozen.
Brian and Helen Cave
le Fourquet, Gourdon,