July 27, 2016
The precise effects of the UK’s future relationship with the EU in the event of a Brexit is still unknown and there are many factors that will have to be to be discussed in any negotiation, but the one overriding entitlement that will affect all expats living in the EU will be that of free healthcare.
Many legal experts now say the 1969 Vienna Convention cannot be relied on to protect British expats’ rights and if this were not the case it could be that Britain would no longer issue S1 forms allowing British pensioners to have healthcare paid for by the UK.
As such, many would have no alternative other than to take out private health policies, the cost of which would be prohibitive to those who are living on little more than UK pensions.
We could also face the situation where we would no longer be entitled to free emergency healthcare via the European health insurance card (EHIC) as the card would no longer be available to non EU citizens.
A Department of Health spokesman said that expats’ access to the EHIC “is one of the issues that would need to be resolved during the withdrawal process”.
He added: “One option could be that UK citizens retired overseas would no longer have access to necessary healthcare guaranteed by the UK government.”
In order to raise awareness of the healthcare situation amongst UK politicians and government decision makers I would ask that you take a look at an EU Government Petition that went online just this week.
It simply asks that “On Brexit, British expatriates should retain their rights to healthcare within the EU.”
It is important that we put every pressure that we possibly can put onto the decision-makers in the coming weeks and months, and as such I would ask that you seriously consider signing this online petition.
It is extremely easy to do and can be found at the following link:
TRBL Orihuela Costa