Brexit Testimonies

30 September 2019

Stephen in Finland

"Because of changes in the advice now given to us, we are now living in constant fear that we will not be covered for our healthcare."

I do hope you have room for the “elderly” who are finding themselves “trapped”, as they do not have the years to make changes to secure their life after Brexit.

I am a British pensioner married to a Finnish pensioner.

We married in the UK 45 years ago. We have lived and worked for our entire working lives in the UK, paying our taxes and contributions into the UK system. We have not paid into the Finnish system, as we only visited Finland to see family and friends.

It was our long term plan to work in the UK and retire to Finland. We have now been living permanently in Finland for nearly two years ago.

Before we moved to Finland the EU referendum took place and because of the referendum, we decided (although it was a lot of money) for my Finnish wife to apply for British citizenship. My wife had worked for the NHS for over 30 years, so she had a good record of her income and residency in the UK. She had previously gained a UK university degree in the English language but did have to take the “Life in the UK” test. After completing all the requirements, she was granted British Citizenship. As she applied for her British passport at the same time, she now holds both a Finnish and British passport. I am a sole British citizen and only have a British passport. 

As the UK was well and truly part of the EU and we were “constantly told” by both Finnish and British authorities that our pensions and health cover we were secure, we felt there was no need for us to spend or make any other arrangements for ourselves, in readiness for our future retirement in Finland.

On retiring, I applied for my UK State Pension and for an S1 to ensure that both I and my wife had healthcare in Finland, the UK and the rest of the EU. As we were covered by the S1, we retained our UK EHIC. However, because of changes in the advice now given to us, we are now living in constant fear that we will not be covered for our healthcare, in particular.

As we paid our FULL UK taxes and contributions in “good faith”, we feel we (and many others) could now be either without health cover, pay for (as old people) very high health insurance or be a “burden” on the Finnish health service/Government. This we feel is very unfair and had we known, we may have made provision in Finland to help secure our retirement healthcare and maybe pensions.

Earlier testimony
Robert in Spain
Later testimony
Carol in Belgium
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I get to meet other pilgrims from across the continent - most of whom speak excellent English ... I'd say meeting with them makes me feel more European.

Read Steve's Brexit testimony.