EU agrees to allow British people to keep EHIC health insurance cards after Brexit

EU UK FlagStefan Rousseau / PA Wire/Press Association ImagesUK citizens will retain access to free healthcare in the EU.

LONDON — The EU has agreed to allow British citizens to retain access to the EHIC health insurance card after Brexit.

Brexit secretary David Davis said access to the card would remain for UK citizens living in or visiting EU countries.

“Both sides have agreed… that we should at least protect existing health care rights and arrangements for EU27 citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU. The EHIC arrangements.” Davis said.

“That is good news for example, for British pensioners in the EU: it means that they will continue to have their health care arrangements protected both where they live and — when they travel to another Member State — to be able to use an EHIC card.”

Under the EHIC scheme, British tourists and residents in the EU are able to access free healthcare, as are EU citizens visiting the UK.

The card is currently accepted by 31 members of the European Economic Area, Switzerland and Australia.

The agreement was heralded by Davis today as an example of the “concrete progress” he claimed had been made in Brexit talks.

However, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier insisted that on all the major issues yet to be agreed in the first stage of talks there had been “no decisive progress.”

“We’re quite far from being able to say sufficient progress has taken place,” Barnier said in a joint press conference with Davis.

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