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Brexit: Briefing for British nationals in Belgium on 25 February
As the UK prepares to exit the EU at the stroke of midnight on 31 January, a Brexit briefing is being set up for British citizens in Belgium at ING Marnix in Brussels on 25 February.
British Ambassador Martin Shearman CVO will welcome attendees at the latest event organised by the Brussels British Community Association (BBCA). Embassy colleagues will then staff various topic-based stands for British citizens to ask specific questions, for example on residency or healthcare.
While the UK is leaving the EU with a deal on 31 January under the conditions of a withdrawal agreement with citizen’s rights already guaranteed, negotiations are continuing in the ensuing 11-month transition period.
All Britons in Belgium, including their children, are being urged to ensure their Belgian residence cards are up to date by the end of 2020. Registered UK nationals will be contacted by their communes for the issuing of new residence cards and thereby retain their right to live, work and obtain social security.
British citizens also need to have health insurance and be signed up to a mutuelle/ziekenfond by the end of the year, in line with existing embassy advice.
Among the major concerns for the British community is forward movement; the free circulation with right to live and work in the European Union.
Another key issue is repatriation to the UK for Britons and family members with EU nationality. The current offer allows for close family members to join them in the UK under the EU settlement scheme until 29 March 2022.
The British embassy has confirmed that the Belgian government has been open and collaborative in its discussions. Each member state in the EU has the freedom to decide how to implement the various legal requirements of the withdrawal agreement, including for citizens’ rights, with many following the lead of how the UK treats its own EU nationals.
The British Embassy is making efforts to contact “hard to reach” UK citizens in Belgium and is continuing to run a series of outreach events across the country.
The embassy is also working with the BBCA, an umbrella group for British associations, in encouraging Britons to protect their rights.
Said vice chair Tim Reynolds: “The main message is make sure your papers are in order and that we are here, as we always have been, for the British community and anglophone organisations in and around Brussels.”
For the Brexit briefing on 25 February, it’s necessary to register in advance here.
BBCA Brexit Briefing
Tuesday 25 February, 18.30-20.30 (doors open 18.00)
ING Marnix, 1 Rue du Trône, 1000 Brussels
British Embassy - Useful websites:
- Living in Belgium Guide
- British citizenship
- Belgian resident card
- Belgian nationality
- Belgian Office of Foreigners on Brexit and residency
British Embassy and consulate on social media: