UK state pensioners in France terrified over more exchange rate falls

Published:  19 Jan at 6 PM
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With the pound sterling forecast to sink even lower as the triggering of Article 50 draws nearer, Brit expats in France are fearing the worst.

Theresa May’s long-awaited Brexit speech on Tuesday did nothing to allay the fears of British expats living in France on their UK state pensions. The PM’s continuing emphasis on a hard Brexit is expected to do even more damage to the already threatened currency and those who rely on it.

Both EU and French politicians had been hoping for meat on the bones of ‘Brexit means Brexit’, but were treated to what the French finance minister referred to as an ‘improvisation’. May’s commitment to lowering immigration irrespective of the fact that free movement will end for UK citizens is causing panic and fear in favourite European retirement hubs.

In an interview with English language newspaper The Local, Brit expat resident in France Brian Cave said British retirees in the country have seen a drop in sterling’s value against the euro of 20 per cent and more, causing hardship to many. He criticised the PM for failing to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK, a move which would have also guaranteed the status of Brits in Europe.

The sterling exchange rate is hitting on holidaymakers already, with exchange booths at Gatwick now offering a rate of 0.97 euros to the pound. Holiday companies are predicting a huge drop in bookings for destinations in Europe, and experts are predicting further falls in the exchange rate.

According to The Local, many UK pensioners in France are already enduring falls of up to 30 per cent in their disposable incomes. 63-year old Lynda Adcock, living in Brittany, told the paper she’s struggling, sad and angry, adding she’ll never understand the chaos Brexit has caused in peoples’ lives, nor the reasons behind it. Paying her bills, she said, comes first, followed by decisions as to whether to switch on the heating and how to afford food.
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