The Government of the United Kingdom has written to over 160 of its nationals living in Estonia ahead of that country's formal departure from the European Union, in one of the largest-ever mail-outs of its kind.
The direct mail campaign, which also covers U.K. residents in the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, is to provide around 365,000 U.K. Nationals living in Europe with advice on the actions they need to take to prepare for the end of the transition period on December 31, the U.K.'s foreign office said Tuesday.
This includes information for U.K. State Pensioners – who will continue to receive their pension – and benefit recipients, as well as advice on how to register for residency and healthcare, exchange driving licenses and check new passport validity rules online in each of the individual countries.
U.K. nationals resident in an EU country may need to register or apply for residency to continue living under the same conditions they did when they were EU citizens, or following the start of the transition period on January 31 this year.
The data the foreign office used in contacting U.K. nationals comes from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) database, and the campaign is accompanied by online, radio and newspaper adverts across 30 countries informing UK Nationals of the actions they need to take, in addition to the many "town hall" meetings, street surgeries and online Q&As run by Britain's foreign missions across Europe.
The U.K. government says it has allocated around £3 million (around €3.4 million) to charities and community voluntary organizations across Europe to assist with the process.
The number of U.K. nationals resident in Estonia is estimated to stretch at least well into the hundreds.
Negotiations on a trade deal ahead of withdrawal are still ongoing at the time of writing, but the end of the transition period date is set in stone.
Editor: Andrew Whyte