Brexit

How the United Kingdom leaving the EU will affect citizens' access to social services and early childhood education and care.

Denmark and the rest of EU member states strive to achieve a withdrawal agreement with the United Kingdom (UK). However, if the withdrawal agreement is not adopted by the British Parliament or the European Parliament, the UK will leave the EU without an agreement or transmission period, the so-called no-deal Brexit.

For more information on Brexit, go to the webpage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

British citizens residing in Denmark

In order to be entitled to services under the Act on Social Services a person must legally reside in Denmark. Services can include assistance to vulnerable children and adults, compensation to persons with disabilities and practical support for elderly persons.

All persons who are legally residing in Denmark are entitled to services under the Day-Care Facilities Act. The Withdrawal Agreement does not affect these rights. 

No-deal Brexit - British citizens residing in Denmark

On 19 March 2019, the Danish Parliament adopted a legislative proposal (no. L 166) which extends existing EU-rights for British citizens in Denmark and their family members in the event that the United Kingdom leaves the EU without an agreement (hereafter, the Danish Brexit Act).

The Danish Brexit Act will only enter into force, if the United Kingdom leaves the EU without an agreement.

Read the Danish Brexit Act as adopted at the Danish Parliament’s webpage (in Danish)

For more information on the proposed temporary scheme, go to the website of the Ministry of Immigration and Integration

In case of a no deal Brexit, British citizens will as a rule be considered as third country citizens (that is, citizens from a non-EU country). However, the Act on Social Services does not distinguish between EU-citizen and third country citizen. All British citizens, who are legally residing in Denmark, will have the same rights under the Act on Social Services as before Brexit.

The same applies to the Day-Care Facilities Act, under which all parents who are legally residing in Denmark are entitled to services under this act.

The sole exemption is subsidies for minding your own children under Article 86 and 87 in the Day-Care Facilities Act.  Only parents who have resided in Denmark for seven of the past eight years and have sufficient linguistic Danish skills are entitled to this subsidy. EU-citizens are exempt from these requirements. Under the Government's planned temporary scheme, all British citizens, who are legally residing in Denmark at the time of Brexit, will continue to be exempt too. However, this exemption does not cover British citizens, who move to Denmark after Brexit.

Under the Government's planned temporary scheme, British citizens, who are legally residing in Denmark, will have the same rights to get married in Denmark, as they have today. British citizens and their family members, who are not covered by the planned scheme, will be considered third country citizens. The Agency of Family Law will assess if they fulfil the requirements in order to be married, and a fee will apply.

Export of benefits from Denmark

Under certain conditions, Danish citizens, other EU-citizens as well as British citizens are entitled to export some Danish benefits. This follows EU-regulation 883/04, and applies in cases where an EU-citizen is considered to be 'socially insured' in Denmark but resides in another EU-county. These benefits include social services under the Act of Social Services that are considered cash-benefits under the EU-law.  

If the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK is adopted, citizens’ rights to export of benefits will remain unchanged during the withdrawal period.

No-deal Brexit - export of benefits from Denmark

If the UK leaves EU under a no-deal Brexit, the cooperation under EU-regulation 883/04 ceases to include the UK and British citizens. 

As stated above, the Danish government plans a no-deal Brexit temporary scheme that will be adopted as a law if the situation requires this. This will encompass that citizens who are already exporting subsidies for either minding own children under the Day-Care Facilities Act or compensation for loss of earnings to persons maintaining a child with a physical or mental impairment under the Act on Social Services can continue existing export.

The former benefit already has a maximum period of one year; the latter will under the planned transition scheme have a cut-off date at the end of 2019. This will give the affected families time to transition into the services and benefits available in the country of residence.

Contact

If you have any questions, you can contact The Ministry for Children and Social Affairs, sm@sm.dk