The 64,000 euro question that needs to be asked of Gove and Boris Johnson is:
Can you guarantee that upon Brexit, the United Kingdom would immediately become a member of the EEA (the European Economic Area), if at all?
If this is not the case, then they need to be honest with the hundreds of thousands of British pensioner expats, living in Spain, Portugal, France and in other corners of the globe.
If The UK is not in the EEA, they would never again receive any automatic annual uprating of their United Kingdom pension, upon which most of them are dependent.
For this to continue, there would have to be special and individual reciprocal agreements reached with individual countries, and for the Department of Work and Pensions to reverse their long-standing practice (particularly in relation to United Kingdom pensioners living in, for instance, Canada).
These pensioners in Canada do not receive a penny when the UK pension is updated every year.
I would urge pensioners and journalists not to take my word for it, but in addition to challenging Gove and Boris, that they also explicitly ask the Pension Secretary if he will give ‘a guarantee’ or not!
Will he expressly guarantee that all UK pensioners currently residing in the EU will continue to enjoy the benefits of the annual uprating after Brexit?
Andrew Mackinlay, Labour MP, Thurrock 1992-2010