Britons were free to choose. But is it a move towards other opportunities?
By KAZ BOSALI: POLITICAL Columnist
The course of the United Kingdom’s fate changed following a referendum where 52% voted in favour of leaving the European Union on June 2016.
Arguably, immigration was one of the key factors that swayed voters. The Vote Leave campaign intensified that sentiment with the “Take back control” narrative, painting a picture of the UK having full control of their borders and of immigration.
There was debate as to whether Britain should have a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit. No-one knew what ‘Brexit’ meant, and it became messy. It saw the resignation of Remainer David Cameron; Theresa May replacing him as Conservative leader, an election in 2017, and May’s resignation, Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister and then another election in 2019. And finally, on 31st December 2020, Britain officially left the EU.
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So, what does this mean for you?
The now infamous ‘Brexit means Brexit’ has been fulfilled. The UK is not subject to EU rules and regulations anymore. A new deal is now in place that determines the new relationship between the UK and the remaining EU members. It covers new grounds including the freedom to move, one of the key features of the single market.
Travelling within the EU
The EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is no longer applicable to UK nationals and will be replaced with a new UK Global Health Insurance Card where the details still need to be outlined and announced.
Working in an EU country
As you are no longer automatically eligible to work or reside in an EU country (excluding the Republic of Ireland), you may need to apply for a work or residency visa at the host country you wish to do so.
Qualifications are no longer automatically recognised. You would need to ensure that your qualification and certificate is recognised in the specific member state that you’d want to work for.
The freedom of movement, one of the features of the single market has now changed. Travelling and working in another EU state now requires more organisation, planning and ensuring adherence to the member state you wish to visit or work in. It will be felt the next time you’re in the queue at the airport.