The British government announced on Tuesday that it would implement its no-deal Brexit contingency plans in full, which will include putting 3,500 troops on standby and reserving ferry space for supplies.
With Theresa May's Brexit deal seemingly doomed the government has decided to ramp up its no-deal planning, which will no doubt send pulses racing among the 1.2 million Brits living throughout the EU, who will see their rights end when the UK leaves the EU on March 29th.
Part of those preparations has been to send advice to the public about the likely impact on their lives of Britain crashing out of the EU without a ratified agreement.
On Tuesday guidance was published directed at pensioners living in the EU and those who receive benefits from the UK on what would happen next.
The good news was retired Brits will still be able to receive their state pensions in the event of a no-deal Brexit. And the pensions and benefits will still be transferred into their accounts in EU countries automatically.
But when it comes to having their pensions uprated – in other words guaranteed minimum increases in state pensions – there was mixed news.
“The UK leaving the EU will not affect entitlement to continue receiving the UK State Pension if you live in the EU, and we are committed to uprate across the EU in 2019 to 2020,” the government said.
“We would wish to continue uprating pensions beyond that but would take decisions in light of whether, as we would hope and expect, reciprocal arrangements with the EU are in place.”
In other words Brits living in the EU will be used as bargaining chips.
And there was similar doubt when it came to the question of Britons being eligible to receive benefits paid by the country where they live.
“In the unlikely event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK will call on the EU and its member countries to continue their commitments to EU citizens and protect the rights of UK nationals living in EU countries,” read the government's guidance
“We want UK nationals to be able to stay in the EU countries that they live in when the UK leaves the EU, and for their rights to employment, healthcare, education, benefits and services to be protected.”