Despite the emotional farewell plenary and the release of 3 million Brexit commemorative 50p coins, promising "friendship with all nations," that will go into circulation across Britain on Friday, British residents in the continent remain confused and worried about their post-Brexit healthcare and pension provision.
Eighty percent of the estimated 1.3 million British citizens living abroad, of working age or younger, are concerned about a possible failure on the agreement to guarantee their continued rights to freedom of movement, cross-border working, and cross-border recognition of professional qualifications.
Xinhua News Agency also reports that more than 100 of over 600 Britons, who live in the EU, manifested their fear of shrinking pensions and losing the right to medical treatment, despite those issues supposedly settled satisfactorily in the Withdrawal Agreement.
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The general confusion also resides on the fact that some of the host countries of the EU have not updated their online information to take into account the Withdrawal Agreement, The Guardian newspaper reported.
Last September, the British government announced that in case of a Brexit without a deal, it would continue to fund the healthcare costs of Britons living abroad, mainly pensioners, who benefit from reciprocal healthcare arrangements for a maximum of six months, or 12 for people with pre-existing conditions.
At the end of the transition period in December 2020, anyone with a current British S1 reciprocal healthcare form will continue to have their healthcare costs met by the government, as long as they remain legally resident in their host country.
During the transition period starting from Feb. 1, Britain will continue to obey EU rules and pay money to the union. British PM Boris Johnson has said that he will not allow the transition period to be extended beyond Dec. 31.