French parliament Brexit meeting told Brit expats face cataclysmic changes

Published:  21 Oct at 6 PM
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A special meeting dedicated to the effects of Brexit on British expats in France heard the UK’s divorce from the EU would have cataclysmic effects on expat rights.

Members of France’s National Assembly were told Thursday that Brexit was on track to wreck the lives of tens of thousands of Britons living in the country. EU law specialist Myriam Benlolo-Carabot told chair of the meeting National Assembly President Claude Bartolone the only way to prevent cataclysmic Brexit effects is to allow reciprocal agreements.

Once Brexit is final, she said, British residents in France will become foreigners or even illegal immigrants as they will be no longer be citizens of the EU. President of the British Community Committee of France Christopher Chantry agreed, adding the result of the referendum had shocked Brits to the core and left them terrified about their futures.

Major points of concern, according to Chantry, include health cover, travel between the UK and France, property taxes, loss of the right to vote, driving license problems, double taxation and even the loss of the pet passport scheme. The worst threat, however, he added, is the loss of the right to remain in the country they now call home.

Chantry informed the meeting that isolated instances of local authorities behaving as if Brexit had already happened were not helping the general feeling of alarm in the expat community. Britons in one prefecture are now having difficulties in obtaining the residency card, and others are being told they have no entitlement to French nationality as ‘Britain is no longer in the EU’.

In reply, Bartolone told reporters after the meeting he expects the French authorities to attempt to make life less complicated for expats, but insisted the Brexit negotiations would have to be concluded before any special measures were proposed. Should the UK parliament insist on a hard Brexit, he added, that would be a bad sign for Brits in France.
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