Greece to ‘protect’ post-Brexit Brits with new legislation



Greece’s Alternate Foreign Affairs Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis submitted to Parliament a bill entitled “regulations for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union” that will protect the residence status and rights of current and future British citizens residing in Greece, regardless of whether a Brexit agreement is reached with the EU or not.

Among the issues regulated by this legislation are:

- Recognition of the right to residency for British citizens (and family members) who (a) have established residency in Greece up until the withdrawal date, (b) will have established residency in Greece by 31 December 2020, and (c) those who arrive after 1 January 2021. Also regulated are the conditions of their entry into and exit from the country.

- Coordination of British citizens’ social security and healthcare rights.

- Recognition of British driving licenses in Greece and their conversion to Greek licences.

- The terms and conditions for opening and operating tourism enterprises in Greece by natural and legal persons based in the United Kingdom.

- The settlement of financial issues, with special provision for the work of insurance and reinsurance companies.

- Meeting the extraordinary and urgent staffing needs of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue’s Directorate General of Customs and Excise Duties through transfers of permanent personnel. This measure was deemed necessary in view of the need to carrying out customs checks of passengers and goods, combat smuggling, collect excise duties on beverages and fuel, and upgrade the relevant electronic services.

- More specific issues regarding the rights of natural and legal persons that may arise in the case of a no-deal Brexit and are not regulated by Union law, especially with regard to access to employment and recognition of professional and academic qualifications. These cases will be regulated via the joint decision of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the competent Minister in a given case.

The legislative initiative is aimed at unifying the relevant legislation, systematising the regulatory framework and removing any uncertainties as to what is in effect up until the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, with or without a deal.

The complete Bill (in Greek) can be viewed HERE

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.