Do you know your local Sindaco?
Do you know an Italian who knows, or is friends with your Sindaco?
Do you know someone else who knows your local Sindaco?
Does your Sindaco frequent a local bar and you see him/her there regularly?
Is your Sindaco a local business person, owns a family business, is a notaio, an avvocato, a commercialista? Can you make an appointment with him/her?
Is your Sindaco appearing at a local event in the coming days?
Can you simply contact your Sindaco by email?
Do you know a local business person, shop owner, builder etc who is well connected to the Sindaco?
IT IS VERY URGENT!!
But let us explain why….
THE CURRENT SITUATION…..
….which you are probably well aware of but at 5 months to Brexit day it is good to take another look at what our near future could look like.
As you know, we, British nationals living in Italy at present do so by virtue of our rights as EU citizens. These rights don’t just cover our right to reside here legally, but also the related rights, such as healthcare, the right to work, to run a business, to provide services, to education, to contribute to a pension, to family reunification etc etc. Our rights will fall away automatically at midnight on 29th March 2019 unless they are continued or replaced by some further treaty and/or legislative process.
As things stand now, just 5 months away, there is no such treaty and no such legislation. Although there is talk of a deal, we do not understand how it would look and a No-Deal (no Treaty) scenario is also a possibility. We therefore do not know what rights, if any, we will have at that time.
This situation is causing desperate anxiety to us British nationals living here, a number of whom have had to seek medical treatment for it. We potentially face becoming illegal immigrants with the myriad consequential problems that would pose for all of us and each of the comuni in which we reside. Our lives and those of our families are quite literally on hold.
If the EU and the UK fail to reach an overall agreement on the UK’s withdrawal, then it will be necessary for there either to be a UK-EU agreement specifically on citizens’ rights, or for there to be bilateral agreements between the UK and Italy and the other 26 Member States, or for there to be unilateral legislation in each country to protect the position of affected citizens living in its territory.NONE OF THIS IS PRESENTLY PROPOSED IN ITALY.
THE PROBLEMS FOR THE ITALIAN PUBLIC ADMINSTRATION
The problems for the Italian public administration are a mirror of those we face here. Not knowing what rights we will have in five months time, it is impossible for regions, provinces, comuni, prefetture, health authorities, INPS etc to set up systems to deal with us or register us under those systems where that is required.
A FEW ISSUES ‘WE’ AND ‘THEY’ COULD FACE:
- Will we have to re-register on the anagrafe as resident in our local comune? Will the criteria for legal residence be different? Will those of us who already have soggiorno permanente under EU law be required to re-register after 29 March 2019, and if so, will the period of legal residence required be different from the current 5 years?
- Will we be required to have a new type of carta d’identità and certificate of residence?
- What rights will we have to participate in the Sistema Sanitario Nazionale and what will we have to do to get those rights? What proposals are there to provide UK pensioners resident here with health treatment that is currently paid for by the UK under the EU wide provisions?
- Will our children who are currently in Italian schools and universities have the right to continue after 29th March 2019? Will UK national children currently resident in other EU27 countries still have the right to come to university here?
- Will British nationals currently working here have to get work permits in order to continue? If so what happens if they exceed the Italian national quotas for such permits?
- Will British nationals working here continue to be able to aggregate their INPS contributions in Italy with those made in other EU countries? What will happen if the Italian element of their contributions is less than the minimum required for an Italian pension (eg because they have contributed for 30 years in other EU countries and only 10 in Italy)?
AND IN THE EVENT OF NO DEAL …..
International negotiations between the UK and the EU or Member states will be required to try to salvage something for the 5 million citizens affected, and new laws will need to be passed in Italy. Whether or not there is a Deal, new administrative systems will have to be devised (this doesn’t bear thinking about for residents in Italy!!) and put in place to implement whatever new arrangements have been agreed. 5 months is a hopelessly short amount of time for this to be done, but as yet the process has not started. We are very conscious that Italians resident in Britian currently face similar anxieties and uncertainties. We work closely with the3million group representing EU citizens in the UK. They too are working with local mayors and service institutions such as the NHS to put pressure on the UK government to prepare adequately for the consequences of a No-Deal scenario.
WE NEED YOU TO DELIVER A PRE-PREPARED LETTER TO YOUR SINDACO, EXPLAINING THE SITUATION, AND ASK HIM/HER TO DELIVER IT TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SINDACI (ANCI), ASKING……
We need you to deliver the letter in Italian, (see links below) preferably in person, (A copy is also provided in English) to your Sindaco and ask them to deliver this same letter to ANCI (the National Association of Sindaci) in the hope that they will see the local problems that Brexit could cause and consequently put pressure on the national government.
British in Italy have already sent the same letter to the President of ANCI ( the Association of Sindaci in Italy) and are also contacting our local Sindaci urgently.
You can download the Italian version of the letter HERE
And the English version HERE
We are often asked what will our future look like post Brexit?
This question we cannot answer, but the most likely difficulty we face post Brexit is that of administrative hurdles. What do we do when we want to renew a tessera sanitaria but we are no longer EU citizens, what do we do when we have to apply for documents at the comune but we are no longer EU citizens. These are not things that would necessarily affect us immediately post Brexit, but are likely to affect everyone of us at some point. With no framework in place to deal with it, it could leave us ALL in Limbo.
Can you imagine the time and stress of having to deal with local Comuni in explaining what our rights are, having to take documents to the comune to prove it, having to argue with local officials who do not know how the law applies to us not having had clear instructions from the Italian government on how to deal with British citizens after Brexit, the amount of visits required to sort out simple issues? You probably can because we have all had first hand experience of Italian bureaucracy. This could be infintesimally more difficult unless a process is in place to deal with us.