Expats in French village terrified over no deal Brexit

Published:  16 Sep at 6 PM
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Expats in a charming French village are living in fear of a no deal Brexit.

British expats make up a quarter of the population of the quaint French village of Gouarec, and are becoming more and more anxious about their futures as the clock winds down to October 31. Their fears are focused on access to French healthcare and their pension entitlements, as well as losing their rights to free movement as many have family and friends back in the UK. As has been the case since the 2016 referendum, they’ve been unable to get concrete reassurances from the British Embassy and are growing even more angry at Boris Johnson’s determination to take the UK out of the EU no matter what.

A no-deal Brexit would automatically end the UK’s participation in the European Health Insurance Card scheme and, although France previously agreed to temporarily extend healthcare coverage, no long-term solution has been put forward as yet. All UK expats in France have now been advised to register with the French authority as long-term residents, but many are having unforeseen difficulties in getting their cards. Another blow to those keeping in regular touch with their families in the UK is that mobile phone roaming charges are likely to be re-established, adding more expense to UK state pensions already suffering from the shrinking sterling exchange rate against the euro.

Goarec’s Kerbain Farn grocery store is run by Briton Dawn White, who’s also furious over Johnson’s total lack of concern for UK citizens living in France and other EU member states. She told reporters she considers he’s a dictator whose only focus is his own way or the highway, adding he couldn’t care less about the British people. Dawn and her husband are doing their best to keep their store stocked and their customers happy by means of sourcing their produce from Ireland rather than from the UK. Another elderly Briton with a holiday home in the village is selling her property due to uncertainty over health care and regular uncomplicated access. She told reporters it’s breaking her heart, but she doesn’t see any other option.
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