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How will Brexit affect you in Italy? Q&A with the British Ambassador

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How will Brexit affect you in Italy? Q&A with the British Ambassador
British Ambassador to Italy Jill Morris. Photo: British Embassy in Rome
15:44 CEST+02:00
The British Ambassador to Italy, Jill Morris, on Friday issued a Brexit update containing essental information for all British nationals currently resident in Italy.

Included in the message, shared via email and on social media, were answers to the top questions asked by British nationals at meetings being held across Italy by Morris and British embassy staff

READ ALSO: New campaign urges Brits in Italy to get ready for Brexit

“I and my team continue to meet UK nationals at our public meetings across Italy to provide an update on Brexit and citizens’ rights and to hear concerns and questions. Most recently we held meetings in Martina Franca and in Rome," Morris wrote. 

"We have included the top questions from our most recent public meetings below."

I am a UK national living in Italy with an old-style residency permit. Do I need to do anything ahead of Brexit?

The Italian No Deal legislation protects the rights of all those who are officially resident in Italy on Exit day. The current temporary residency document is the Attestazione di regolare soggiorno  based on art. 7 del D.Lgs 30/2007. For those living in Italy for over 5 years, the residency document is the Attestazione di soggiorno permanente. If you think you hold an old version of a residency document you may wish to visit your local comune before Brexit to request an updated copy.

I have lived in Italy for more than fiive years and access my healthcare via my S1 form. Do I need to do anything ahead of Brexit?

If you have registered your S1 form with your local ASL, you currently access public healthcare in Italy paid for by the UK. The UK and Italian government are committed to continue this reciprocal healthcare agreement until December 2020. However, this still requires a formal arrangement.

We are in ongoing discussions with the Italian government to secure an arrangement that will see the current system remain in place. Should an agreement not be secured, your S1 will no longer be valid after Brexit.

READ ALSO: Healthcare after Brexit: What do Brits living in Italy need to do?

If you are a permanent resident we are seeking confirmation from the Italian authorities on whether your access to healthcare will be guaranteed by your long-term residency status. Our advice is that you should now be considering your healthcare. You may wish to contact your local ASL to see what options are available for registering for healthcare without your S1 i.e. paying voluntary contributions. Or you may wish to acquire private healthcare insurance.

The UK government has announced that it would cover the public healthcare costs for S1 and EHIC holders for up to 6 months after Exit day, for those who are living in the EU prior to Brexit.

This is to ensure that there is no gap in healthcare cover and to allow people time to make arrangements for the future of their healthcare including registering for healthcare under the local healthcare schemes in the absence of an agreement with EU Members States on a reciprocal arrangement

Photo: Depositphotos

I own a property in Italy. Will Brexit affect my rights?

The rights of UK nationals who currently own property in Italy will be unaffected by Brexit. That is because all Member States are bound by Article 1 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights, which obliges them to respect property rights.

This includes those who own property, own property shares and those who own a property and let it to tenants.

Non-EU nationals can purchase land or property in Italy if they are resident in Italy or there is a bilateral agreement in place which allows of purchasing rights. We will engage with the Italian government on a bilateral agreement to be in place after Brexit to ensure that UK nationals outside of Italy can continue to purchase property in Italy.

Last year’s Security Decree extended the consideration time of Italian citizenship applications from two to four years. With the change of government, do you think this might be revoked?

How citizenship applications are considered is a sovereign decision for each EU member state. The UK government regularly raises concerns that have been reported to us regarding the application process for citizenship.

But the process by which applications are decided including consideration times is a decision for the Italian government alone. We will continue to raise concerns where appropriate.

READ ALSO: What Italy's new laws mean for your citizenship application

I am worried that the UK will withdraw its offer to EU nationals and therefore Italy might change its current No Deal legislation. Do you think that is a possibility?

The citizens’ rights articles of the Withdrawal Agreement were agreed between the UK and the EU early on in negotiations as a priority.

In a No Deal scenario the UK has made it clear that EU nationals living in the UK are welcome to remain and to maintain their current rights, under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Over one million EU nationals have now applied under the scheme. The UK’s offer to EU nationals is a generous one. We welcome the Italian offer to UK nationals as detailed in the No Deal legislation which protects the current rights of UK nationals living here.

We continue to engage with the Italian government on where we believe the offer lacks reciprocity. Both countries have now passed legislation to protect the rights of its respective citizens. The UK and EU have always been clear that the protection of citizens’ rights is a priority in any scenario.

Find The Local's full Brexit coverage HERE

What should I be doing now?

Before the UK leaves the EU, if you are a UK national living in Italy and you haven’t yet registered officially as a resident, you should do so immediately. You may be able to apply for residency electronically if you have an electronic signature and a PEC address. Your comune’s website should have more details as to how to do so. If you are unable to get a face to face appointment with your comune until after the 31 October, you should retain all evidence of having tried to do so, as well as evidence of living in Italy on Exit day.

If you are still driving on a UK driving licence, you should exchange your licence for an Italian one before 31 October. If you do not, then you may be required to re-take your test after Exit day.

If your UK passport is nearing the end of its validity, you should renew it now. After the UK leaves the EU, your UK passport will need to have at least 6 months validity remaining to travel to EU countries.

Please continue to check our Living in Italy page, which we keep regularly updated, on how to secure your rights in Italy. UK Nationals in the EU has a wealth of official information on Brexit and how it might affect you.

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