Brexit

Brexit Briefing For Cyprus Troops: 'Everything To Continue As Usual'

The Commander of Joint Forces Command toured Limassol speaking to members of the military and civilians.

One of the UK military’s most senior commanders has been in Cyprus to talk about the impact of Brexit on the Sovereign Base Area (SBA).

General Sir Christopher Deverell, the Commander of Joint Forces Command, spent the day touring the SBA’s meeting members of the military and locally-employed civilians.

The General expects Brexit - whether it is in a deal or no-deal scenario - to have little impact on military life in Cyprus.

"The main message I bring is a very reassuring one," he says.

"We have indications that everything will continue pretty much as usual the day after Brexit."

Gen Deverell 080319 CREDIT BFBS
For General Deverell, this visit was a chance to dampen some fears, but also to listen to those who will be implementing changes.

The General also visited Episkopi Garrison. He first talked about Brexit with a group of locally-employed Cypriots, then later with members of the military and civil servants working in the bases:

"I think the impact will be really minimal."

Even things such as using different driving licenses when visiting the EU are currently being discussed in the UK. However, General Deverell is sure that British people visiting or living in Cyprus will not face any issues.

"It will not be a requirement for people to get hold of Cypriot or international driving licenses to be able to continue to drive in Cyprus," he says.

British vehicles in Cyprus 080319 CREDIT BFBS
General Deverell is sure that British people visiting or living in Cyprus will not face any issues with driving licenses.

There are some areas of life in Cyprus for the military that could be affected in case of a no-deal Brexit situation.

"If there is a no-deal situation," says General Sir Deverell when discussing how the postal service on the island could be affected, "then there will be some processes that will need to be put in place to ensure that the mail is appropriately dealt with."

Classed as an overseas territory, the status of the SBAs in Cyprus is quite unique and somewhat complicated.

They are administered by the Ministry of Defence but are not actually part of the EU or the single market.

Post in event of no deal situation 080319 CREDIT BFBS
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, military postal services in Cyprus could be affected.

However, on things like customs, VAT and agriculture the bases are governed by EU law.

For the UK military, this overseas territory remains a key strategic asset. 

For General Deverell, this visit was a chance to dampen some fears, but also to listen to those who will be implementing any changes that Brexit will bring.