Information about Brexit

Current situation

With the UK's withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020, a transition period begun until the end of 2020. During the transition period, the current rules continue to be in place as if the UK were still a member of the EU.

The EU and the UK will negotiate their future relationship during 2020. Due to the tight negotiation schedule, some sectors may fall outside the scope of the agreement starting on 1 January 2021. Businesses in particular should be prepared for this possibility.

Further information on the withdrawal agreement, the transition period and the future relationship is available on the website of the Prime Minister's Office:

Withdrawal agreement and transition period

The EU–UK withdrawal agreement entered into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement will dismantle all cooperation based on the UK’s EU membership in an orderly manner. The withdrawal agreement does not lay down provisions on the future relationship between the EU and the UK.

The withdrawal agreement provides for a transition period until the end of 2020, during which the relationship between the EU and the UK will continue under the EU’s current rules, as if the UK were still a member of the EU. The only significant exception is that, during the transition period, the UK will no longer participate in EU decision-making or in the activities of EU bodies.

The withdrawal agreement will also, among other things, safeguard the residence, employment and social security rights of EU citizens residing in the UK and UK citizens residing in the EU under EU law. The free movement of EU and UK citizens moving to the EU area or to the UK will end after 31 December 2020 and restrictions will be placed on their entry and rights.

In the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the key provisions of the withdrawal agreement relate to social security and medical care rights.

During the transition period (from the date of withdrawal until the end of 2020), Brexit will not change social security or medical care rights. The rights of British citizens living in Finland, Finnish citizens living in the UK and people moving between the countries continue to be the same.

Even after the transition period, the withdrawal agreement safeguards the rights of those who have moved between a Member State and the UK before 1 January 2021. The rights may last for a person's entire life. Information that is more detailed will be given later on the rights guaranteed by the withdrawal agreement after the transition period.

In Finland, the municipality of residence organises health and social services for its residents. For this reason, British citizens should ensure that their right of residence in the EU is registered and that their municipality of residence is entered in the Population Information System before the end of the transition period. Information is available on how to exchange registrations based on the right of residence in the EU for residence rights under the withdrawal agreement by application. See the websites of the Ministry of the Interior and the Finnish Immigration Service for more information:

Future relationship between the EU and the UK

The EU and the UK will negotiate their future relationship during 2020. The EU and the UK are to agree, among other things, on cooperation arrangements concerning the coordination of social security systems in case of future movement of persons.

The aim is for the future relationship to enter into force once the transition period is over on 1 January 2021. Further information on the future relationship will be provided later as the negotiations proceed.

Due to the tight negotiation schedule it is possible that, from 1 January 2021, national legislation alone will apply to social security and medical care rights. In this case, citizens travelling to the UK, for example, must be prepared to take out private insurance to cover the costs of sudden illness.

Effects of Brexit on the services of the Finnish Centre for Pensions

More information on the effects of Brexit on employment pensions, for example, is available on the website of the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Effects of Brexit on benefits provided by Kela 

The website of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) provides information on the effects of Brexit on Kela benefits, such as national pensions, financial aid to students and medical care.

Effects of Brexit on voluntary insurance policies and supplementary pensions

Information on the effects of Brexit on voluntary insurance policies and supplementary pensions is available on the website of the Financial Supervisory Authority.

Finnish Medicines Agency prepared for possible disruptions in pharmaceutical services

The Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea), together with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, other authorities and actors, has prepared for the situation. Together with other actors in the pharmaceutical sector, Fimea has mapped out possible disruptions and associated risks with regard to pharmaceutical services. They have initiated joint measures to prevent disruptions. The measures will be continued in close cooperation to ensure the uninterrupted treatment of patients.

Fimea supervises medical devices

Fimea is responsible for the supervision of medical devices in close cooperation with the authorities of other EU Member States and the Commission.

Information on professional practice rights on the website of the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health

Read more about the effects of Brexit on the professional practice rights within health and social services:

Products for work use

Information on the effects of Brexit on products intended for use at work is available on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Mer information

Sari Vuorinen, Specialsakkunnig 
social- och hälsovårdsministeriet, Kansainvälisten asioiden yksikkö / KVR 0295163049