Expats will soon have a reliable source of Brexit information, with a special database being launched to coincide with the triggering of Article 50.
The University of Cambridge is launching a database for British expatriates living in the European Union, to give them reliable information to make informed decisions about Brexit. There are approximately 1.2 million UK-born expats living in the EU and these populations do not currently have access to trustworthy information channels. The lack of certainty is causing great worry, including perhaps premature plans to move back to the UK. It is feared that a mass exodus of expats from Europe could put pressure on the health and social service systems within the UK, and this could potentially be avoided by providing factual and up-to-the-minute information so expats can make rational and informed decisions about their future.
The database is meant to be a one-stop shop, enabling expats to base their decisions on reliable information and discourage a wave of expats returning to the UK
The research for the database will be funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ERSC) and implemented by Cambridge University. Researchers will begin building the database using resources including health, legal, financial, property and language services, newspapers, Facebook pages, blogs, and chatrooms. The database will provide information to expats on a range of topics including legal status, rights to work, and the ability to access welfare, healthcare, pensions and so forth. The database is meant to be a one-stop shop for fact-based updates for expats overseas, enabling them to base their decisions on reliable information, and discourage a wave of expats returning to the UK. The lead researcher at Cambridge University’s Department of Sociology, Brendan Burchell noted, “UK citizens abroad need to be empowered to make sound, informed decisions during Brexit negotiations on whether to remain in their adopted homelands or return to the UK.”
The research is currently underway with the database expected to be released around the same time as Article 50 is triggered before the end of March. Currently researchers are scouring the internet trying to find the most reliable sources of information for the database. Once complete it will be shared widely with trusted parties including government agencies, legal charities, and citizen advice bureaus. If you would like to contribute, follow this link to the site.
While this will be most helpful for those already living abroad, for people still planning to move to continental Europe the situation is equally concerning. That is why Property Guides have launched the Guide to Living in France After Brexit. Guides to more countries will follow soon, but the rules from France are likely to be similar to those throughout the Schengen Visa area. Download the guide by clicking here.