What Does Brexit Mean For The UK's Military Personnel?

A guide issued by the Ministry of Defence acknowledges that “ongoing uncertainty causes concerns" for personnel overseas...


The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has issued guidance for British troops and their families working in the EU, Gibraltar and the Sovereign Bases.

The guide acknowledges that “ongoing uncertainty causes concerns for some staff and their families overseas”.

Written prior to the House of Commons’ rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement, it repeatedly describes Britain leaving the EU with no deal as “unlikely”.

But as things stand, what would Brexit mean for defence?


For defence personnel with spouses or partners who are EU nationals...

Spouses and partners with EU citizenship living in Britain are informed they will be able to stay regardless of whether a deal is agreed.

They might also be eligible to be granted settles status in the UK.

For defence personnel working in the EU...

On the issue of British citizens working in the EU, the guide links to a Department for Exiting the EU document that says the Government “is calling on the EU and Member States to uphold their commitments to citizens and to protect the rights of UK nationals in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario.”

The rights of British and Irish citizens to work and travel freely between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland will remain unchanged, another linked document states.

For defence personnel living in the EU with their pets...

The guide says that in the event of a no deal exit then pets would still be able to travel to EU countries but “the requirements for documents and health checks would differ depending on what category of third country the UK becomes on the day we leave the EU".

For driving in the EU...

If Britain leaves without a deal then the Government says:

“Your driving licence may no longer be valid by itself when driving in the EU.

"If you move to another EU country to live, you may not be able to exchange your licence after the UK has left the EU.”

It also warns that bringing a vehicle into Britain from the EU could mean VAT may need to be paid.

The reports say the MOD is “seeking further guidance from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and advice on what this means for our defence people in the EU".

The report also encourages personnel to “discuss with your chain of command any further information you would like to receive".