A MESSAGE FROM JILL MORRIS, HER MAJESTY’S AMBASSADOR British Embassy Rome
Issue No. 14
Friday 31 January 2020
To British Nationals in Italy,
The UK is today leaving the EU with a Deal – a formal Exit Treaty, referred to as the Withdrawal Agreement. I would like to to set out again what this means for British nationals living in Italy.
Tomorrow, 1 February, we will enter into a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this period your rights will be unchanged, with the single exception that you will no longer have the right to vote in local elections in Italy. So during 2020 you can continue to live, work and move to any other EU member state, exactly as you would have been able to do if the UK were still in the EU.
After the end of 2020, the Withdrawal Agreement will protect the rights of any UK national already resident in Italy, and of any UK national who has moved to Italy before 31 December 2020. Close family members as well as future children will also be covered. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, British people here will be able to continue to lead their lives broadly as they do now, but there will be certain changes which might affect some of you. Let me set out the detail.
After 31 December 2020, the Withdrawal Agreement will protect your rights to continue to live and work in Italy and to bring your existing close family members to live with you here.
The lifetime export of state pensions will continue and exported UK state pensions will continue to be uprated as they are now. If you have also contributed to the public schemes in Italy and the UK, you will continue to receive both pensions via the same application process as you do now.
All types of reciprocal healthcare will continue for those citizens who are resident in Italy by 31 December 2020. If you are entitled to benefits in the UK, such as child benefit or disability benefit, you will retain the right to export those benefits and have them paid in Italy, just as you do under current EU rules.
You will still have the right to run or establish a business in Italy. The rights of frontier workers will also be protected, if they were working across borders on 31 December 2020, for as long as they retain that status.
If you have received a recognition decision in Italy for a professional qualification from the UK, or begun the recognition procedure by the end of the transition period, your professional qualification will continue to be recognised by the Italian authorities in the future.
You will keep all your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement for the duration of your lives as long as you remain resident in Italy. You will also be able to change your status, for example from student to self-employed or from worker to pensioner. You will have a right to equal treatment, meaning that Italian employers will not be permitted to give preferential treatment on grounds of nationality to Italian citizens over British citizens who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. We are ready to work with the Italian government to address any problems that arise regarding how UK nationals here in Italy are regarded during the transition period and beyond.
We know that there are some issues of importance to UK nationals in Italy, which are not included in the Withdrawal Agreement. This includes the right to move from Italy and settle in other EU member states, known as the right of ‘onward movement’; and also certain other economic rights, such as the ability to provide services across borders after the end of the transition period, and the recognition of any professional qualifications which you may obtain in the future. We will return to these questions as part of the negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.
So that is a summary of your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. To confirm those rights here in Italy, you may need a new document. The Italian authorities have not yet confirmed the new process for obtaining any new document. We will publish information on our Living in Italy Guide as soon as we learn more. We have had an excellent and collaborative dialogue with the Italian government across the board, and the protection of the rights of citizens will continue to be our shared priority.
In the meantime, it is very important that the Italian authorities know you are in the country and covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, so please make sure you register with the Italian authorities if you have not yet done so. That means registering as a resident here with the anagrafe of your local comune.
Please ensure you stay up to date with the latest news, by signing up for email alerts on the Living in Italy guide on gov.uk here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-italy, and continue to follow our UK in Italy social media channels. You can help us to reach other UK nationals in Italy by telling a friend, so they can also do what they need to do to secure their rights.
Jill Morris CMG
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Italy