Today’s Dnevnik has a report by Aleš Gaube examining what a no deal Brexit could mean for Slovenia. The story notes that if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, as it’s currently set to do at midnight on March 29, then the status of Britons in Slovenia will need to covered by new legislation. The text continues on a comforting note, suggesting that not much will change for the around 720 UK nationals who currently live in the country, although it then claims they would no longer be able to buy real estate in the country (“Prav tako v naši državi ne bi več mogli kupovati nepremičnin.”). There would also be changes to how professional qualifications gained in the UK are recognised in Slovenia.
However, readers should note that no details are given with regard to these changes in status, and no official sources are cited, and also that the author of the original story seems to occasionally confuse a hard Brexit (with a Withdrawal Agreement) with a no deal Brexit (without an agreement). We also got in touch with a Ljubljana-based real estate agent, who said "citizens from OECD members can buy freely in Slovenia", so perhaps UK nationals do not need to worry on this point.
For the around 5,000 Slovenes in the UK, Dnevnik says that these should continue to enjoy the same rights set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, even in the case of a no deal Brexit. For Slovenians intending to visit the UK in the future, visa free travel to the UK should still be possible.
As the title of the article indicates – “Koliko nas bo stal trdi brexit?” (“How much will hard Brexit cost us?”) – the main focus is the issue of EU funds, a matter of particular interest in this context, since the UK is the third largest contributor to such funds. In the case of a no deal Brexit, which will see the UK not pay €16.5 billion into the current EU budget (which runs until 2020), Slovenia is expected to contribute between €42 and 57 million more to fill the hole, while Denmark would pay an extra €360 million.
David Brozina, Director-General of the EU Affairs Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the newspaper that while the government is planning for all eventualities, detailed legislation will only be announced when the UK’s position, and the kind of Brexit it wants to pursue, is known. He is also quoted as saying "The Ministry of Labour is investigating the possibility that, in the event of a hard Brexit, an agreement that regulates the transfer of insurance rights and reimbursement of medical treatment costs between the countries, as was the case prior to Slovenia joining the EU”.
Finally, the paper notes that the UK Embassy in Ljubljana is not commenting as to any ongoing talks with the Slovenian government on citizen’s rights. The full story, in Sovene and behind a paywall, can be found here.
All our Brexit coverage can be found here