Open letter from British Ambassador

British Ambassador addresses open letter to Brits residing in Portugal

The Portugal News has published an open letter from the British Ambassador, addressed to British residents in Portugal, including Madeira, obviously. Not sure if it adds a great deal of new or more precise information, but thought it worth replicating here:

Since the Referendum, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of you across the country, from the Algarve to Porto, Funchal to Caldas da Rainha. I understand your concerns for the future including your residency status in Portugal, your UK pensions, access to health and other social services, and how you can acquire dual nationality. At our meetings, on our social media and in interviews, I have pledged to keep you up to date as negotiations on our exit from the European Union continue.

British Ambassador addresses open letter to residents in Portugal

On Monday 26 June, the Prime Minister outlined to Parliament an offer to protect the rights of EU nationals in the UK.  It is her firm expectation the EU will offer reciprocal treatment for British nationals resident in its Member States. Our firm priority is to secure a deal that puts people first, provides certainty and assures peace of mind.

Many of you will have seen the press reports.  I hope you will also read the detailed proposals set out in “Safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU” ( and sign-up for email alerts to receive updates.

The first key element is residence status.  Until the UK’s Exit, EU citizens in the UK will continue to enjoy all the rights they have under EU law.  As I have said before, the same will apply to you, British residents in Portugal……………………….

The second key element is healthcare, pensions, education and access to benefits.   It is the UK’s intention to treat EU citizens with settled status in the same way as if they were UK citizens for the purposes of education, benefits and pensions.  For you, the UK will continue to export and uprate the UK State Pension and provide associated healthcare cover within the EU. We will also continue to protect the export of other benefits, and associated healthcare cover.

Subject to negotiations, we want to continue participating in the European Health Insurance Card scheme meaning EHIC holders continue to benefit from free, or reduced-cost, needs-arising healthcare while on a temporary stay in the EU — and vice versa for EU EHIC holders visiting the UK.

Some of you have children who wish to study in the UK.  The offer announced on Monday 26 June states qualifying EU citizens who arrived in the UK before the specified date will continue to be eligible for Higher Education and Further Education student loans and ‘home fee’ status.  And we intend to continue to recognise professional qualifications obtained in the EU27 prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and vice versa.

We now await the EU’s formal response to our proposals.  There will be a period of negotiation before we reach a final agreement.

I will continue to engage with you, including during town hall meetings in the autumn. In the meantime, please follow me on Twitter (@KirstyHayesFCO) and access the Embassy’s social media (@UKinPortugal on Twitter; British Embassy Lisbon and Brits in Portugal on Facebook).




5 Responses to Open letter from British Ambassador

  1. Richard Monday, July 10, 2017 at 20:03 #

    However “settled status” for EU people in the U.K. have to wait 5 years for access to health care, education etc under Teresa May’s proposals. This is not equalities but the creation of second class citizens in the U.K.

  2. mauricereed Monday, July 10, 2017 at 21:14 #

    Her proposals were a starting point and have been rejected as insufficient be the eu.

  3. sb Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 07:42 #

    The EU proposal is much better, it means all the rights of EUs in the UK and Brits in the EU are preserved as if Brexit has never happened. I don’t understand TM, she is such a mean person. Instead of accepting the EU offer, she tries to creates a new complicated new scheme which is not equivalent to the current status quo. It only creates bad feelings and an impression that people are used bargaining chips.

  4. mauricereed Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 10:38 #

    I see a new live web cam on madeira-web. It looks like it is mounted high above the town. See it here at:-

  5. noud Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 11:23 #

    so May clearly wants all benefits form EU but not the costs……. NO GO !!! Leave as quick as possible please !

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