No need for UK expat panic over French draft law

Published:  19 Oct at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
A media clarification about the French government’s intentions for UK expats after a no-deal Brexit explains the issue as it now stands.

Recent press reports on British expats’ status in France should a no-deal Brexit happen have caused unnecessary concern to many UK citizens who’ve chosen to make the country their permanent home.The French parliament’s recently released draft law does not in any way make life impossible for the British expat community. Misinterpretation of the document’s initial paragraph seems to have caused ‘confusion’ amongst a number of journalists, who are reporting it as empowering the French government to enforce visas and residency cards on British expats by means of the threat of being declared illegal immigrants.

In the real world, the document’s initial paragraph notes the automatic effects of a no-deal scenario, along with measures the French government can take to remedy the situation for resident expats from the UK. It’s true that Brits in France would lose their status as legal residents, as this depends on their being citizens of the EU, thus becoming non-EU, third country UK citizens. Their situation would obviously become ‘irregular’, as they would not have the normal third-country residence cards and visas. This is an explanatory fact rather than a declaration that the French government wants this scenario.

Another statement of simple fact which is clearly not a statement of intent by the French government is that employers of UK expat citizens would be breaking the law should they continue to employ their expat workers without work permits and cartes de sejour. The sole intent of the French draft law is to allow the French government to put emergency laws in place by decree in order to deal with the no-deal chaos in the best way for British expats and French citizens returning from the UK having studied for degrees or paid into UK compulsory pension schemes for some years.

Earlier this week, a French senate debate on the subject summed up the government’s current view in that France wishes to retain Britons’ rights in the same way as the UK is promising to retain the rights of French expats in Britain. In other words, to act as regards the intention of the draft withdrawal agreement. Officials from the French Interior Ministry have already told one English language expat newspaper their wish is that Brits in France can retain their status quo whatever goes down as regards Brexit. Britons who have lived continually in France for over five years are in an even stronger position, as they now have the right to EU permanent residency.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive