The UK Government has written to 365,000 UK nationals living in Europe with advice on the actions they need to take to prepare for the end of the UK transition period on 31 December.
The letters, sent to UK state pensioners and benefit recipients, give advice on how to register for residency and healthcare, exchange driving licences and check new passport validity rules online. It is one of the largest-ever mail outs by the Government to UK nationals living in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
Protecting the rights of UK nationals living across Europe is an absolute priority for this Government. That is why we are issuing one of the largest Government mail-outs to ensure people know what actions they need to take wherever they live.
There is further help for those who may have difficulty completing their residency applications from our UK Nationals Support Fund, delivered by charities and community organisations.
Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey added:
As we regain our political and economic independence we have been clear we want to protect citizens’ existing rights and help people prepare for the changes and opportunities ahead. I’d encourage UK nationals living in the EU to visit GOV.UK and get ready for the end of the transition period.
British Ambassador to Italy, Jill Morris, said:
Since 2017, British embassies across Europe have organised 853 outreach events, with more than 510,000 Brits attending in person or online. We will continue to support them, including through our ongoing public information campaign.
The Foreign Office has been running a public information campaign featuring online, radio and newspaper adverts across 30 countries informing UK Nationals of the actions they need to take. This is in addition to the hundreds of town hall meetings, street surgeries and online Q&As run by the UK’s Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates across Europe.
The UK Government has also allocated £3 million for charities and community voluntary organisations across Europe to assist UK nationals that may need additional help to register or apply to protect their residency rights.
This includes potentially at-risk groups, such as pensioners and disabled people and those living in remote areas or who have mobility difficulties. Beneficiaries include SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, the Church of England diocese in France and Age in Spain.
UK nationals can find the most up-to-date information on actions they may need to take in the ‘Living in Guide’ for their country at: gov.uk/livinginguides