On June 17, 2017, The United Kingdom began to negotiate its exit from the European Union (i.e. the "Brexit"). As a British citizen in Canada or the United States, you are likely wondering

How Does the Brexit Affect Me and My UK Citizenship?

Brexit via https://pixabay.com/en/eu-united-kingdom-2016-problem-1473823/

[Public Domain]

Well, the short answer is that the Brexit does not affect your UK citizenship or your UK passport. At least not immediately.

Become Canadian Canadian in the EU? Keep your EU citizenship

 

The Brexit (UK European Union Membership Referendum) Was Non-Binding But...

Though a majority of Britons voted to leave the European Union in 2016, the referendum was non-binding. However a lot has changed from the referendum:

So it looks like Brexit is happening after all.

 

What Does Brexit Mean for My Passport/Citizenship?

Your passport is turning blue!

In terms of how the Brexit affects your status as a British citizen in Canada or the United States, you still have exactly the same rights as you did on June 22nd, 2016. There is no need to renew or replace your current passport as no regulations have changed. As of today, you still do not require a visa to visit, work or live in Schengen area countries either. But negotiations to leave the UK have begun and this will change sometime in the next months or year or two.

But for those UK passport holders who currently live in the European Union, the concerns are greater. Here are some of them:

  • Will the EU revoke the right of British citizens to work and live in the EU before the Article 50 negotiations are concluded?
  • Will EU member countries unilaterally revoke the rights granted British citizens by the European Union during the current negotiations?
  • Will EU member countries revoke the right to public healthcare currently enjoyed by UK citizens in EU member countries during the current negotiations?

So, if you do not currently live in the European Union, you have nothing to worry about for the moment. If you do live in the EU, or had plans to move there, it may affect your decision, but we don't know how yet.

 

Will British Citizenship Laws Change if the UK Leaves the European Union?

Though the ongoing negotiations concern the UK leaving the European Union, many saw the 2016 referendum as a referendum on immigration. It's possible that, whether or not the UK leaves the European Union by the methods described above, there will be significant future changes to the UK's nationality law. Because of the UK’s unique position of still having British subjects around the world, any changes to UK’s nationality law could have far-reaching consequences. If and when that happens, we will have all the details.


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