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Pensioners living in EU countries could be facing double jeopardy if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, as the Conservatives seem to be planning.

Not only are they likely to lose the “triple lock” system to ensure their pensions rise every year, but those with complex health needs are likely to lose their NHS-supported healthcare.

The EU has repeatedly stated that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed – and nothing has been agreed at the moment. So the triple-lock – ensuring that the UK state pension rises with the rate of inflation, earnings, or at the rate of 2.5 per cent, whichever is higher – and payments from the UK to an EU bank account may be at risk.

There are concerns that this would end with Brexit, meaning pensions for expat Brits would be frozen and they would become poorer in real terms every year.

The DWP has claimed that it is committed to uprating pensions across the EU in 2019 and 2020. After that, it seems, if you’re a pensioner in the EU, you’ll be living on the same money for the rest of your natural life.

UPDATE: I am grateful to commenters (see below) who have pointed out what may be inaccurate information in the original version of this article. I wrote that a commenter on the Vox Political Facebook page pointed out, “There are many British pensioners with complex health needs living in the EU, whose health conditions are supported in their countries of residence under the EHIC [European Health Insurance Card].

“On October 31, if no deal goes through, those people are going to lose their health care. That means they’re either going to have to buy expensive insurance in their countries of residence, bring their health burdens home to the NHS, or die.

“Many of them will die because they have complex health needs and won’t be able to just up-sticks and return to the UK.”

It seems that EHIC is only valid for two years and if a UK citizen is a permanent resident of an EU country, they must sign on for that country’s healthcare scheme, in whatever form it takes.

This means they could still be out of pocket as these schemes cost money. With pensions frozen – and the value of the pound plummeting to a point where some expats are already encountering difficulties – matters could become much worse, very quickly.

Boris Johnson doesn’t seem to care.

So it seems the government could be literally signing UK residents’ death warrants.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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