It could be illegal to pay pensions to many retired British expats if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, the Association of British Insurers has told MPs.
The trade association told members of the Commons Brexit committee that pensioners who receive their payments into bank accounts in their adopted countries could be left unable to receive it.
Huw Evans, the association’s director general, said: ‘That is a perfectly plausible risk in the future, if no agreement is reached, in some countries of the EU.”
Hilary Benn, the Labour MP who chairs the committee, said: “They might find that they couldn’t be paid their pension – is that what you are saying?’.
Andrew Adonis, the Labour peer who is a champion of the campaign group Best for Britain, which is calling for a referendum on any final deal, described the situation as “daylight Raab-ery”, in homage to Brexit secretary Dominic Raab.
He said: “The Tories betrayed pensioners before the last general election, and they’re doing it again now with their blinkered Brexit.
“It’s not fair and it’s not on. If this cavalier Brexit is stripping British expat pensioners of their hard-earned savings, it’s not good for the country as a whole. It’s that simple.
“This news highlights the need for a people’s vote with the option to stay in the EU.”
During the evidence session, Mr Evans also warned that tourists would be forced to pay more for health insurance in EU countries following Brexit, because they would lose their current insurance cards.
And he said that as many as 38m insurance contracts would be ‘left in legal limbo’, because it would also be illegal to pay claims in EU countries
He told the committee: ‘If a claim comes in two years down the line, in a country like Germany, their lawyers will be advising them you can’t pay the claim.”
But he added on the threat to insurance-based pensions he wanted to ‘avoid panic’, as it would not necessarily be a consequence of a no-deal Brexit in all EU countries.