Although Brexit has been delayed again until (at least) January, the looming general election could be the catalyst for whether or not the UK’s exit from the EU will become reality. Understandably, many are concerned about the permanent changes this would entail, like no longer being able to use your European Health Insurance Card, and losing your right to live and work in the continental EU. However, though several elements of post-Brexit life might look very different, there are certain connections to the EU which are set to stay exactly the same.
Your freedom to holiday in the EU without a visa
The abolition of free movement for UK citizens across the EU means you will no longer have guaranteed rights to live and work in member states. However, Brexit will not affect your right to travel visa-free across the remaining 27 EU countries, in spite of the fact that the UK’s new passport design doesn’t include the words ‘European Union’.
The European Commission confirmed in April 2019 that UK holidaymakers won’t have to apply for visas to visit EU countries for visits of up to 90 days during any 180-day period, even in the case of a no-deal Brexit. That said, to enjoy this freedom, you will have to buy a visa waiver every three years through the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, which will cost €7 (£6.30) each time.
Your ability to play EuroMillions
The EuroMillions lottery is one of the world’s most popular, with between 80 and 100 million tickets bought for the draw each week. Many British players became concerned that Brexit would exclude UK citizens from playing the European-wide game, but they needn’t have worried, as EuroMillions have assured fans of the game that everyone can still buy EuroMillions tickets post-Brexit.
This is because your ability to play the transnational lottery is based on your geographical location, not your membership of the European Union. A case in point is Switzerland which, despite not being an EU member, has taken part in the lottery since 2004 by virtue of being a European country. As such, the UK’s departure from the EU has no bearing on your eligibility for a EuroMillions ticket.
Your right to return goods bought from the EU
While many of the UK’s rules around consumer rights are based on EU directives, these are mostly enshrined in our country’s law. Under the European Union Withdrawal Act, EU legislation will no longer be superior to the UK’s post-Brexit. However, many of these laws will still ultimately be retained. As such, many of your existing rights will remain the same once we leave the EU, so you will be able to return any goods bought from an EU retailer, regardless of whether the UK leaves with a deal or not.
As it stands in this instance, you’ll purchase products under the laws of the state making the sale, unless the retailer is directly marketing their goods to the UK. Although you can currently rely on UK courts to help you, you’d instead have to file a case in the retailer’s country. However, your right to redress will ultimately remain.
Your entitlement to avoid double taxation
Under current treaties, any UK nationals working in another EU state avoid double taxation. These conventions establish taxing agreements between countries, and ensure that only one government can tax employment income. If both nations have taxing rights, the country you live in grants relief for any tax paid while residing there.
This right to avoid double taxation will be upheld post-Brexit. This is because the UK has these tax agreements with all EU countries already, so they will be unaffected by the nation’s departure from the bloc. These agreements effectively override the domestic law in the respective countries, guaranteeing that you will only pay tax once.