Brexit anxiety for Brits in France hits a new high

Published:  21 Nov at 6 PM
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British expats living, retiring or working in France are now suffering even more anxiety over their fates in the event of a hard or no-deal Brexit.

The general feeling of stress amongst the British expat community in France, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal and other EU member states is now focusing on anger at being used, abused and yet again treated as bargaining chips rather than human beings. As a result, after more than two years of uncertainty and rumours as well as being ignored and discounted, Britons in the EU are still in limbo even after a so-called ‘draft deal’ has been negotiated.

For example, whilst appreciating the French government’s reassurances about their post-Brexit rights, UK expats in France are still in the exact position they were in just after the referendum as nothing is set in stone and a no-deal Brexit would make them illegal immigrants overnight. Another valid cause for expat rage is that, until May made her position clear on EU expats in the UK, the plight of her own people who’d chosen to live across the Channel wasn’t even acknowledged.

According to one Briton in an interview with an English language newspaper, British expats have been conveniently swept under the carpet and used by Britain’s political machine. Whilst many are relieved their reciprocal healthcare rights seem to be set, the majority believe healthcare should have been ring-fenced from the start, along with other rights such as freedom of movement around the EU.

Many expats whose businesses are reliant on travel within the EU are unsure as to whether to close down or fight on, and those attempting to get cartes de sejour residency permits as advised by the French government are being refused and told to leave within 30 days. Others who may not be able to meet French income requirements although they’ve lived in France for many years are now forced to pay lawyers to advise on appeals or take their case to the EU courts. Many British pensioners are simply too scared to even apply.
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