Brexit is the gift that caused Expat streaming services to stop working

  • Brexit is the gift that keeps on giving
  • Expat UK streaming services no longer available
  • UK users no longer benefit from Digital Single Market
  • Users still paying for subscriptions they cant use
  • Social Media flooded with unhappy expats

Brexit is the gift that keeps on giving and despite four years of opportunities to clarify the post-Brexit situation, trade deal, financial institutions and a multitude of other issues, it would appear that a great many unmentioned issues will continue to arise now that the Brexit transition period is over. I would appear that many of these will be issues that will affect an expats daily life that were previously not even considered by the general population.

Expats in Europe are now discovering that alongside some issues such as UK bank accounts and credit card accounts being closed unless they can prove a permanent UK residence and the inability to utilise your UK drivers’ licence as a resident in your European country, now Expats have discovered that despite everything else, they are unable to watch their favourite UK-based streaming service.

Despite many Expats having paid into the UK system for their entire life, which included contributing to the TV licences, they are unable to watch BBC iPlayer now that Brexit has forced changes to the UK-EU streaming rules.

Those who enjoy Netflix or Amazon Prime are now discovering that they are required to sign up to the native version of the streaming platforms in the country in which they reside and that has resulted in the loss of many of their favourite streaming programs and a substantial reduction in the availability of English-speaking programs.

For those that subscribe to IPTV services it is as yet unclear whether these will also be affected but it is clear as more information and changes to the expat way of life that anything is fair game post-Brexit.

The changes have caused a wave of discontent amongst social media users with many taking to the internet to voice their discontent with the changes.

In a policy from Sky’s policies, it identifies that members would no longer “be entitled to stream Sky outside the UK”.

Continuing, the statement read, “From January 2021, the UK will no longer be part of the EU, we won’t be able to provide this service in the same way”.

Users were quick to highlight the changes. One user @redalphababe wrote, “January 1st 2021. FYI.  A lot of stuff on a British based Prime video account which was available yesterday is as of today no longer available in Europe.  I assume there will be similar experiences on other streaming services. #BrexitReality”


Twitter user, @LawTop20 wrote, “If you are currently outside the #UK, you have probably felt the effects of #Brexit already. @btsport is no longer streaming in the #EU whereas

@PrimeVideo is streaming with limited content. And this is just the beginning. #DigitalSingleMarket”


The changes come as a direct result of Brexit and the agreement that has currently been agreed between the UK and the EU. Many in the UK appeared to be unaware that there is more than one type of single market benefit of being an EU member state.

Whilst the single market for trade was discussed at length over the past four year, the digital market was barely discussed in the public forum at all.

Brexit is the giftThe EU Digital Single Market, which was put into place to benefit EU member states, is a strategy with the intention of ensuring that consumers have better and fairer access to digital services across the bloc including telecommunications, e-commerce and access to online content.

Due to Brexit, streaming platforms such as Amazon and Netflix would have to undertake a full licensing process for all the UK-based streaming content again to be able to provide it throughout EU bloc member countries. This is not only a timely, but also a costly, process.

Somewhat ironically, a number of Brexit-supporting expatriate users have taken to social media to express their discontent in the changes.

In one post by user @MissRegardless they shared a series of photos showing their Brexit supporting parents in Spain struggling with the issue. The tweet presented a range of screenshots and was accompanied by the text, “My parents who voted for Brexit and then moved to Spain. A photo story”.

Brexit is the gift they wanted but it would appear the effects are not ones they anticipated.


As expected, a number of users took to replying to the photo story to express their disbelief, exasperation and mockery of the family’s ironic situation.

One user @MovieSumit replied, “I’m so sorry, but I’m laughing way too hard”, whilst another @GodnoMarsus wrote, “And that’s what we call: KARMA”.


Whilst the hilarious reactions to the situation may keep many Twitter users entertained over the coming weeks, it is a further highlight that the ongoing effects of Brexit will not be felt as a few single large issues but rather, as described by another user, “death by a thousand little cuts,”.

Some users are currently lucky as their service has not been restricted as yet however it is only a matter of time before all accounts are blocked from use until, and if, the streaming providers decide to undertake new licensing procedures.


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“Brexit is the gift that caused Expat streaming services to stop working”

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