Britons living in Cyprus, Cypriots living in Britain

Britons living in Cyprus, Cypriots living in Britain

What happens to them after Brexit?

Until Brexit actually happens, Britons enjoy all the rights conferred by EU membership. But what happens after? Will Britons have to replace their passports? Will they still have access to medical care? Will they even be allowed to continue living in Cyprus?

The British High Commissioner to Cyprus, Matthew Kidd, addressed a fairly large audience of expats at the Kama Lifestyle in Pernera to answer some of the questions arising.

For the most part the answers were “We don’t know!” Apparently when the government invited the British public to vote on whether they wanted to stay in the EU or not, they had not thought through all the implications.

Examples include the movement of radioactive materials. It appears that EU regulations govern these and once Britain leaves it may not even be able to take X-Ray equipment in and out of the country until new agreements with the EU members are negotiated.

Effectively a long and complicated divorce settlement covering many issues has to be negotiated with the EU member states . The EU’s starting point is that it wants to see the financial arrangements agreed before deciding anything on the future arrangement between Britain and the EU Member States. Britain on the other hand wants to have a pretty good idea of what it’s future relationship will be with the EU member states before any financial arrangement is made.

There are three main areas for protracted negotiations:

  1. The Markets
  2. Students in each other’s countries and Tourists
  3. The position of long term residents in each other’ countries

Obviously, the area of greatest concern to most people in the room was the position of long term residents in each other’s countries. The Commissioner expressed that it was the wish of both the British and Cyprus governments to obtain a mutually satisfactory agreement on these issues as both had many of their citizens in each other’s countries.

There was little the Commissioner could say with certainty, but he expressed a certain amount of confidence that things would stay as they are at least for people who were already there, that nothing would change for students already studying in Britain but that things might be different for new students wanting to go and study there. The same for Britons who are resident in Cyprus.

While pointing out that much was unknown, the Commissioner did come up with some useful words of advice: First if long term residents here hadn’t already got their residence permit commonly known as “The Yellow Slip”, he advises them to get one, and if one has lived here for five years to get the permanent residency permit. He did not feel it will necessarily become essential to have these but advised them as precautionary measures. He also pointed out that both Cyprus and the UK permit Dual Nationality and residents who are really concerned could, if they wished, apply for Cypriot Nationality (while keeping their UK one) provided they have resided in Cyprus for a minimum of seven years.

One small word of comfort from the High Commissioner. Britons will not have to get new passports when Brexit is reached. Simply when they renew, they will be a bit different in appearance.