Copy of the letter from Lord Prior to Sir Roger Gale.


Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt confirmed in a letter to Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale that with regard to health care for British residents living abroad, nothing is going to change until Brexit negotiations are concluded. And that could take a number of years.

Bearing in mind that the British government has yet to initiate exit talks, for the time being British expatriates having little to worry about. Rumours are suggesting that negotiations could begin in February, although the process will take at least two years if not longer

Hunt stresses that during the negotiations everything will be done to make sure that UK foreign residents will get the very best deal, which is what the British Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, told the Bulletin this summer.

A few months ago, the Foreign Office launched a new website for anxious British residents who live in Europe and who fear the consequences of Brexit. This website has been specifically designed to keep them informed about changes that Brexit might bring.

But with no idea yet when and in what form the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union will take, the website offers a simple message: keep calm and wait and see.

"The negotiations to leave the EU may take up to two years or more," the website states. "The government has made clear that we want the legal rights of British nationals living in European countries, as well as EU nationals in the UK, to be properly protected. In the interim there will be no immediate changes. During the period of the negotiations, the UK remains a full member, entitled to all the benefits and obligations of membership of the EU."

The website includes information on passports, pensions, health care and also has a link to some general information on applying for dual citizenship. The message is clear: whatever is on the cards for the next few months and years, just remember that right now nothing has changed.