How Might Brexit Affect Amsterdam’s Britons?

To British nationals living in Amsterdam, Brexit is going to have a huge impact. Since the rejection of the Draft EU Withdrawal Agreement, however, the specifics of what shape Brexit will take and what effect it will have on Britons abroad, is unknown.

Kira Goehring / The Amsterdammer

Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom are currently tabling amendments to the Brexit deal ahead of their vote on it on Tuesday. The withdrawal agreement in the shape initially agreed by the Conservative government and EU27 was rejected emphatically by Parliament 432-202 in the meaningful vote on the 15 January.

On Monday in Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May made clear that she opposed the extending of article 50, which would postpone the UK’s exit from the EU, or the holding of a second referendum. In addition to this, May would not rule out the possibility of ‘no deal’, where the UK crashes out of the EU without any withdrawal agreement. Leader of the opposition Labour party Jeremy Corbyn had been insisting that this be taken off the table before he would enter talks with the Prime Minister on ending the Parliamentary deadlock.

Without the full support of her Parliamentary party, however, it is possible that some of May’s MPs could revolt to back Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s amendment to extend article 50 if there is not a deal reached with the EU.

Currently, the United Kingdom is currently set to leave the EU at midnight on 29 March. At this time, British nationals, except for those who hold dual-citizenship with another EU country, will lose their EU citizenship and along with it their automatic rights to live in, work in, and move between any of the EU member states, and to participate in the EU’s political process.

What if there is no deal?

In a letter sent last week to Britons and their relatives registered as living in the Netherlands from the Immigration and Naturalisation Office (IND), the Dutch government set out its plan for them in the event of no deal.

Under this plan, if you’re a British national living in the Netherlands, you and your relatives in the Netherlands will keep your rights to reside, work, and study for a ‘transition period’ that will last until 1 July 2020. Before the transition period begins, the IND will send all Britons registered in the Netherlands a temporary residence permit in the form of a letter. This will act as your proof of residence for the duration of the transition period.

Before 1 April 2020, all Britons registered in the Netherlands will receive an invitation from the IND to apply for a national residence permit, which will be required after the transition period ends. The residence permit will cost you €57, the same as a residence document for an EU citizen, and Britons will need to ‘meet the conditions of residence that apply to EU citizens’ but will not need to follow integration measures.

Studying after No Deal

For those who will continue studying beyond 29 March 2019 or beginning their studies after this date, the residence permit maintains your entitlement to study, statutory tuition fees, and student finance, as long as you meet the remaining conditions applied to EU citizens. For students on the Erasmus programme, the UK government issued a statement last week on a no deal Brexit’s implications for Erasmus +, stating that they ‘recommend that projects that are currently contracted continue being delivered’ and that they will issue further guidance shortly.

Working & Living after No Deal

The residence permit also entitles you to work. Your employer will not need to get you a separate work permit.

In addition to this, you will keep any entitlements you currently have to healthcare allowance, childcare allowance, child-related budget, and rent allowance, provided you have the residence permit and meet the conditions.

Stay Informed

If you are on Facebook, like the Facebook page of the British Embassy in the Hauge and Consulate in Amsterdam. They post regular updates on how Brexit will affect you and are hosting a live Question and Answer event on their Facebook page on 28 January where you can ask any questions you have about Brexit.

You should ensure that you are correctly registered in your municipality’s Personal Records Database. Sign up for a DigiD and check your registration. It is important that you are correctly registered so that the government can contact you and send you your residence permit.

You can also find up to date information in the Dutch government website, where you can also sign up for Dutch government’s Brexit newsletter.

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Post Author: John Wimperis

  • Metro Reporter (Fall 2018)
  • Metro Reporter (Winter 2019)

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