Brexit will cost Britons these rights and protections – NBC News

LONDON — From the outside, Brexit can seem like a never-ending saga. Almost three years after 52 percent of the United Kingdom’s voters backed leaving the European Union, the country is still trying to figure out how that will happen.

The twists and turns in Parliament, the negotiations with the E.U., the 599-page divorce deal — keeping up with it all has even the most seasoned scholars scratching their heads.

But behind the documents and legal wording lie the foundations of daily life for British citizens, from cellphone contracts to how they will go on vacations.

For many Brexit supporters, the expected economic losses and changes to the rights that were enshrined by E.U. membership will be worth it come departure day, which is scheduled for March 29.

“Brexit is not driven by economics. It’s a political project driven by an ideological idea of what the U.K. is and what it could be,” Sam Lowe, a senior researcher at the Centre for European Reform, said.

While politicians in Parliament are now trying to agree on the final details of the divorce, they’ve not even started negotiating on what the future relationship might look like.

Here are some of the ways that the E.U. impacts life for Britons, and what they stand to lose as the U.K. pulls away from its closest trading partner.


Citizens of E.U. member states are allowed to work in any of the 27 other countries in the bloc. So if you’re British, you can move to Madrid, Paris or Berlin, get a job and set up your life with little hassle.

Known as the free movement of people, this became one of the most controversial aspects of E.U. membership for many in the U.K., and a rallying point for some pro-Brexit politicians.


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