The Foreign Office has confirmed in a statement on embassy websites across Europe that Britain will ‘dump’ the EU on Halloween.
The international statement made on embassy sites from Slovakia to Spain preceeded Boris Johnson telling EU leaders again that the UK will be gone with or without a deal.
The Prime Minister has told French president Emmanuel Macron that Brussels “must match the compromises that the UK has made in recent weeks and months” if a no-deal Brexit is to be avoided.
And the Commonwealth and Foreign Office have repeated a statement on their website confiming that the 31st is an unbreakable deadline.
Recently Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The UK will be leaving the EU on October 31st and we want to help UK nationals living across the EU to be fully ready for Brexit, whatever the circumstances. This funding will ensure people get the support they need to apply to protect their residency rights and access to services.”
On the foreign office website to help ex-pats and travellers in case of problems they might face, the office says:
Altough the Foreign Office should back the government, this is seen by many as a bald statement ignoring many other facts.
For instance, under the terms of the Benn Act, the Government must seek a three-month extension to the deadline if a deal is not supported by Parliament by 19 October.
But in a phone call with Mr Macron the PM appaantly said the EU “should not be lured into the mistaken belief that the UK” will still be a member come 1 November.
He said it was now “the final opportunity to secure a deal” ahead of a crucial European Council summit on 17 and 18 October.
But if this is to be possible, the EU must match the compromises that the UK has made in recent weeks and months.
A senior Number 10 source said: “This is the chance to get a deal done: a deal that is backed by parliamentarians and a deal which involves compromise on all sides.
“The UK has made a big, important offer but it’s time for the Commission to show a willingness to compromise too. If not the UK will leave with no deal.
“The Surrender Act and its authors are undermining negotiations, but if EU leaders are betting that it will prevent no deal, that would be a historic misunderstanding.”
Meanwhile, the government is providing up to £3 million in grant funding for charities and other voluntary organisations who will inform UK nationals about the need to register or apply for residency and support them as they complete their applications.
Over 1 million UK nationals live in EU and EFTA countries and the government wants to support those who may find it harder to complete all the paperwork – focusing in particular on pensioners or disabled people, those living in remote areas or with mobility difficulties, and those needing assistance with language translation or interpretation.
This extra assistance will build on the support that British Embassies are already providing. The government’s communication campaign is encouraging UK nationals in the EU to take action now to:
In it’s full statement the Foreign Office said: “As you will be aware the UK is leaving the European Union (EU) on 31 October, whatever the circumstances.
There will be no change to your rights and status as a UK national living in the EU until after Brexit. You can still work, access healthcare and drive as you do now.
If there’s a no deal Brexit, your rights and how you access services will change.
We are therefore encouraging all UK nationals living in the EU to take action now to ensure everyone maintains access to rights and services after 31 October. There are two priority actions you need to take:
- Register for residency in the country you live
- Check your passport is valid for travel.”
And far as Slovakia – a country which has adopted a ;’friendly’ approach to the UK over ‘seperation’ the FO says:“You should visit the Living in Slovakia Guide for all the latest information, where you can find links to the relevant sites and sign up for email alerts.”