Brexit Impacts 2 Million Expat Brits as well!

Two million UK citizens working abroad could become illegal immigrants overnight if Britain were to leave the European Union , former attorney general Dominic Grieve has warned in this Guardian article.

Presumably the extract below from  his article refers to the cases of Norway and Switzerland, both countries accepting freedom of movement as part of their EU trading agreements.

“The requirements of any free trade agreement would make British removal from the clauses dealing with freedom of movement impossible,” he explained, “with the curious consequence that the single biggest cause of domestic irritation with the EU, immigration, would remain unaltered. But without its maintenance some 2 million UK citizens working in EU countries would find themselves becoming illegal immigrants overnight.”

It’s a provocative article as far as British government policy on the EU and the ECHR is concerned. The headline has also been selected for maximum impact, not least on the estimated 1 – 2 million British citizens who  currently reside in the other EU member states. It also rather undermines the UKIP argument that an exit from the EU would solve the uncontrolled immigration problem if the UK wants a free trade agreement instead.

If you are one of these British expatriate citizens (not already excluded by the 15-year-rule), make sure that you can make your voice heard in the 7th May general election by registering as an overseas voter on the British government website https//


This entry was posted in All EU Brits Need Voice, Anomaly of Voteless Expat Brits in EU, Brexit Impacts 2 Million Expat Brits!, Brexit reason to vote, EU Support Expat Brits, Expat Eggs in EU Ref Omelette, Expat Voter Registration, Expats: what happens if Brexit?, Freedom of Movement in EU, Voting Rights and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Brexit Impacts 2 Million Expat Brits as well!

  1. Helga Hanson says:

    @Peter Courtney-Green – -Since you are so knowlegeable, I have a question for you! What will happen to health provisions for British Expats in other EU-countries – particularly pensioners? At the moment there are extensive reciprocal provisions so that everyone is covered adequately. What about other social benefits, such as unemployment benefit which under the proposed reforms of the EU the British Government would like to start in the UK after someone has worked 4 years and paid taxes and N.I. The UK can hardly expect preferencial treatment of UK citizens by the EU, once the UK has left the European Community and discriminates against EU-citizens. Thank you.

  2. Anne Conway says:

    No, what he says is true. You might just receive 2 million expatriots- all British citizens- perhaps not overnight, but soon, if there is a Brexit. Britain,what is left of it, might have to accommodate it’s own citizens if negotiations fail to safeguard there residencies in EU countries. They would be eligible to vote and would be seeking jobs.

    • Forward thinking says:

      Numbers of EU migrants in the UK Match UK migrants in EU
      Swap low paid eastern Europeans for rich retired expats
      my guess wages go up

  3. Peter Courtney-Green says:

    What a complete load of boll*cks – but that’s the Guardian for you.

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