As the transition period of Brexit ends on December 31, 2020, millions of Europeans, including thousands of Greek citizens who live in Britain, should get ready for the new reality of January 1, 2021.
Last week, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis congratulated European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and chief EU negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier for their success in achieving an agreement with the United Kingdom on Brexit.
London and Brussels managed to reach a last-minute deal, striking a free-trade agreement on December 24, which will minimize the disruption between the two sides of the English Channel.
However, as the UK will now be fully independent and no-longer attached to the European Union, many things will change, affecting Greek citizens.
First and foremost, the freedom of movement between the UK and the EU ends.
Europeans, including Greeks, will no longer be able to live, work, study, or retire in Great Britain just because they are a European citizen.
If someone wishes to do so, they will have to apply for a VISA, and meet specific strict criteria set out by London.
Tourists will continue to be able to go to Britain without any issues.
If someone plans to stay for more than 90 days, they will have to apply for a VISA.
Greek students who wish to continue their academic paths in Britain will see significant changes.
Firstly, they will now have to pay much higher fees. Additionally, they will no longer have access to the loan schemes of the British government.
Every EU citizen who studied in Britain has access to tuition loans granted by the EU. Now, they will have to fund their studies by themselves.
On top of these, the UK will no longer be part of the very popular student exchange scheme called ”Erasmus.” EU students will no longer spend a part of their studies in a UK University, and vice-versa, meaning that British students won’t do that in European Universities.
However, these changes will apply to Greek and any other European citizens who have applied for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) in the United Kingdom.
There are approximately 150,000 Greek and Cypriot citizens who live in Britain, the majority of whom are students.
Of course, many changes will also affect those who trade with Britain, as the country leaves the European Custom’s Union.
Business owners will have the other task of filling in customs forms and declarations to keep trading with businesses in the UK.
For more information, please visit the dedicated website for Brexit created by the Greek government here.