‘No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the mainland;
if a clump of earth be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less.
Any loss diminishes me because I am involved in mankind.
Therefore never ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.’
To paraphrase John Donne’s 17th Century meditation poem.
Europe is to lose a piece of land with the UK to be washed away into a big wide global trade world.
The EU Brexit for Expats journey has been filled with many stories of doom and loss for one and all, at times the negotiations have looked washed up, bettered only by the potential out break of a world war 2 weeks ago.
Now we have spring, with summer around the corner and everything is looking rosy on the continent, on the maine of Europe.
Politicians Come Together
With the attrocities in Syria emerging the USA led an international action supported by France and the UK to take reprisals against the Syrian government. Their Russian allies threatened to take out the missiles and the launch pads across Europe if a single Russian was injured.
With a seemingly impossible rock and hard place coming together - world war three was predicted. But the bombing went ahead, and not a single person was injured. Both parties were satisfied with the 3rd way they found to issue a punishment, but protect life. In the end mankind won by stopping the killing and peace broke out.
EU Brexit Progressing
Having agreed a draft withdrawal treaty in March the Brexit issues seem to melt away. Truly intractable issues of finance, residency rights and transitional agreement have been overcome. The EU politicians are now eagerly finalising the withdrawal treaty in time for the October Council meeting that could finalise the withdrawal treaty and EU Brexit.
Clumps of Land on the European Continent
The UK has clumps of land on European main that need to be agreed and settled. Land is an issue with potential vetos that could stop Brexit.
On the island of Cyprus is a sovereign British Base with no border control between them. There was no border constraint before Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, but behind the scenes negotiations are progressing once EU Brexit is agreed.
One such agreement is facilitating the acceptance of 10 year ’Permanent Residency’ applications from British Expats. This will allow free movement between Cyprus and the UK for 10 years, during which a duel citizenship option would be then available to Expats.
Ireland has a veto option if it is not happy with the withdrawal treaty. At the heart is the claim not to return to a land border between EU Ireland and UK Northern Ireland. Above all the politicians seek to avoid a return to the violence of the past. The concept of an open land border between the UK and EU in Ireland is seen as a key issue that has been put on the back burner for now, but a way forward needs to be found by the negotiating teams or risk an Irish veto in October.
Another large clump of British sovereign land, the Rock is not an island, but a 2.6 square mile pendular attached to the bottom of Spain- a hard place to be.
The Rock was given to Britain 300 years ago and is a British Overseas Territory with sovereignty confirmed in the treaty of Paris in 1783.
Spain has a long standing claim to Gibraltar and was granted a veto following the EU Brexit vote. Within the EU an uncomfortable status quo has arisen on Gibraltar, as Britain and Spain also fight to contain separatist movements in Scotland and Catalonia, but this balance disappears with the UK out of the EU.
The issues are real in Gibraltar for Expats. 35000 people live in Gibraltar but also many Expats travel from Spain to work on the rock.
Even here Agreement in principle is being made with Spain willing to agree to EU Brexit without using a veto. The agreement in principle shows the type of unique one one arrangements the EU has plenty of.
City states within the European continent of Europe Andorra, Monaco, Vatican City, Liechtenstein and San Marino all have agreements that allow them to be fully integrated within the EU as defacto members, although they have no voting rights. The EU has found many ways to accommodate many different peoples and interests.
With Gibraltar the agreement being discussed is the Gibraltar airport being ceaded to Spain, a prized asset to gain for Spain, this part of Gibraltar remaining within the EU providing a way for the Gibraltar to continue to trade and travel with the mainland without a border.
Look Forward to Brexit
EU Brexit for Expats involves change for UK Expats Living and Working Abroad in the EU and EU Expats in the UK.
Transitional arrangements are being set for the period to the end of 2010. Everything will change, but the world will go on.
Spring follows winter and we can look forward to that.
Join the webinar this Thursday.
The Expat Expert will be answering your questions on Cyprus and UK tax. Join us live.
Contact us for a Free Review of any residency, business, property or tax concerns with your EU Brexit future.