Brit expats in France left without elected representatives due to Brexit

Published:  11 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: France, Citizenship, Euro
Elected British town councillors in France are now forced to step down as they’re no longer European citizens.

Some 760 British expats in towns all over France are now banned from continuing as elected councillors as they’re no longer European citizens due to Brexit. Many have been living in France for many years and served as representatives for local expat communities on a long-term basis. Standing for election or voting in local polls is restricted to EU citizens, thus leaving expat communities all over the popular British expatriate location without representation as a result of Brexit.

One female Brit living in the Dordogne has served on her local town council for a full 19 years, saying she’d always felt it was an honour to give back to the French community who’d welcomed her into their midst. She’s devastated that she’ll no longer be able to serve both communities, as is another British councillor in a nearby town who’ll be forced to stand down before the upcoming elections in spite of an attempt to take French citizenship.

Mark Lawrence has lived in the town of Plazac for 27 years, but his citizenship application was rejected for financial reasons, leaving him gutted and bitterly disappointed that all his efforts over the years were dismissed by the French government. Plazac’s expat community is angry as Mark was a valued, trusted representative who’d helped expats for many years.

The situation was anticipated by campaign groups urging resistance to Brexit, all of which were fully aware of the loyal service provided by British councillors all across the country. Given the possibility that the Brexit negotiations now under way may still conclude in the disaster of a hard Brexit, British expats in France will now have no-one in authority to speak up for them.
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