Brexit

How the United Kingdom leaving the EU will affect citizens' access to social services and right to vote and stand for elections in Denmark.

Denmark and the other 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.

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 nationals (that is, citizens from a non-EU country). However, the Act on Social Services does not distinguish between EU-citizens and third country nationals. All British citizens legally residing in Denmark will have the same rights under the Act on Social Services as before Brexit.

Under the Government's planned temporary scheme, British citizens 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 nationals. The Agency of Family Law will assess whether they fulfil the requirements to be married, and a handling 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 whilst residing in another EU-country. These benefits include social services under the Act of Social Services, which 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 the 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 so requires. This scheme will ensure that citizens already exporting subsidies for loss of earnings as persons maintaining a child with a physical or mental impairment, under the Act on Social Services, can continue existing export.

Under the no-deal Brexit temporary scheme, the export of before mentioned subsidies will have a cut-off date at the end of 2019. This will give affected families time to transition into the services and benefits available in the country of residence.

Voting rights and eligibility for municipal and regional elections and European Parliament elections in Denmark

Regardless whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal, Brexit will affect the right of British citizens to vote and stand for municipal and regional elections and European Parliament elections in Denmark.

The Danish Parliament has adopted legislation that establishes a temporary transitional scheme regarding electoral rights for British citizens living in Denmark. The transitional scheme will enter into force when the UK leaves the EU. This will be the case regardless if the UK leaves the EU with or without a withdrawal agreement.

The transitional scheme extends the current rules on EU citizens' right to vote and stand for election in municipal and regional elections and European Parliament elections in Denmark for those British citizens who on the withdrawal date and since then have been permanently residing in Denmark.

Go to more information about how Brexit affects your right to vote and stand for elections in Denmark as a resident British citizen

Contact

If you have any questions, you may contact The Ministry of Social Affairs and the Interior, sm@sm.dk