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British expats in France and other EU countries

(142 Posts)
jura2 Thu 18-Oct-18 09:22:00

Despite Mrs May repeated reassurances, it is now clear, that

BRITONS living in France will instantly be deemed illegal immigrants if the UK crashes out of the European Union without an exit deal, Emmanuel Macron’s government has proposed.

That will also mean the end of reciprocal health care and any kind of social support in case circumstances have changed, like losing a spouse, or illness or accident, etc, requiring any kind of assistance.

And you wonder why people are so worried, some of them actually suffering from severe anxiety, depression and other illnesses.

jura2 Thu 18-Oct-18 09:24:04

‘What makes this all the more unpalatable is that, after the Salzburg summit, Theresa May came out and explicitly guaranteed the rights of EU nationals living in the UK.’
But Labour MP Owen Smith, a backer of anti-Brexit campaign group Best For Britain, said: ‘The government has for over two years treated with contempt the future of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU. Now this draft legislation from the French government shows us the scale of rights being ripped away from Brits by Brexit.’

paddyann Thu 18-Oct-18 09:48:57

dont understand why its "british ex pats" and EU immigrants...explain please? Is it the British sense of entitlement to live how they want anywhere they want,that old Empire thing? Seems to me that the Westminster government still thinks they are a big player and that Britannia rules the wave,they need to learn that the opposite is true and understand that there are a lot more than them paying into the EU so THEY have to abide by the rules.The UK had the best deal and voted on over 95 % of EU legislation .Now they're trying to walk away without penalties? Beggars belief.

jura2 Thu 18-Oct-18 09:54:08

oh I totally agree paddyann.

Smileless2012 Thu 18-Oct-18 09:55:42

Do they have to be deemed illegal immigrants? Is that an EU directive or is it what Macron wants to do?

We have friends who've live in France. We saw them a few weeks after the referendum and talked about how each of us had voted and why. He said he'd voted remain but if he'd still been living in the UK, he'd have voted leave.

Mamie Thu 18-Oct-18 09:58:25

Jura I don't think "illegal immigrants" is the correct phrase. We would be deemed third country nationals and subject to the same rules as Americans, Australians etc. In France, if we have been living here in a legal way, paying taxes, in the health system, then we would not be "illegal", but we would need to change certain things. The French Prime Minister has committed to helping us do that. For example, we don't know if the S1 will continue, but under the PUMA scheme we would have rights to health cover from the French state. Our titres de séjour might need a title change, but the conditions on which they had been granted would still apply. The French government is not being alarmist here, just re-iterating the rules which would apply when the UK is no longer part of the EU.
I think that workers are in a more difficult position, especially cross-border workers, as is anyone who has not lived here in a "regular fashion". I know a lot of people are very upset and stressed, but facts and actions are the way to progress, not panic.
I don't bother engaging in discussions about Brexit on here anymore because I see no point in continuing the same arguments with the same people, but I do think it important that we deal with it factually and calmly.
It is a terrible, unecessary mess, but I am far more worried about the disastrous impact on the UK and the future of my grandchildren than I am about us.

jura2 Thu 18-Oct-18 10:03:17

Nothing to do with Macron as such. If residents are non EU (or Switzerland), they automatically become 'third' country residents in case of a no-deal. Simple.

Just like I was when I first came to live in UK in 1970. Had to retake my driving licence from scratch- because you were not allowed to exchange it. After EU, that was no longer necessary if you were from EU country (or Switzerland). Third country residents have to retake licence. They have to have work and a permit before coming (now they have 3 months to find work), have to have private healthcare, and then a certain level of income. I mean, the UK is proposing to go up from 35.000 to £50.000 - now that is a pretty high salary! etc, etc.

British citizens in the EU will overnight become 'third' country national.

stree Thu 18-Oct-18 10:06:58


stree Thu 18-Oct-18 10:07:49

You either live here or you don`t.

Day6 Thu 18-Oct-18 10:17:03

Thank you Jamie for your sensible and factual reply.

We have two sets of friends residing in France. They aren't panicking or feeling threatened.

But Remainers would like us to feel they are.

Day6 Thu 18-Oct-18 10:18:20

Sorry Mamie. My tablet does its own thing!

Mamie Thu 18-Oct-18 10:32:45

I think there are a lot of people who are very worried Day6. We pensioners have all lost a big chunk of income because of the decline of the pound and French bureaucracy is not easy to deal with especially if people do not have the language skills. If people have been paying their taxes, have sufficient income to weather the financial impact and have applied for their residence permits than they should not have to panic. There will be many people who do feel very vulnerable. The French statement is clear and based on the laws of France. The way it has been reported in the British press is inaccurate and inflammatory.

Elegran Thu 18-Oct-18 10:46:41

An illegal immigrant is someone who enters a country clandestinely, not one who was there legally but whose legal status is now uncertain with changes to the laws. Britons living or working in France will probably have to get visas etc, but he wouldn't do that instantly and Draconianly. He is talking rubbish.

This is posturing before the talks, to frighten T M. Watch cats or dogs before a fight starts - they circle each other, making threatening noises.

And this is why she should not have said so early on that the status of EU nationals in the Uk would of course depend on the agreed settlement, but that she would expect there to be reciprocal agreement

Elegran Thu 18-Oct-18 10:48:13

Sory, a redundand "not" in there. She should have said that.

Mamie Thu 18-Oct-18 11:00:53

There may be a political dimension Elegran but the statement in French is just that, a statement of how the legal position would change as we become third country nationals. It is the British press that is doing the posturing (and getting it wrong).

jura2 Thu 18-Oct-18 11:11:02

Yes Mamie- I think that perhaps those who have been there for a long time, have their residency permits even though they were not required, have no massive change in their circumstances (I am thinking of my young friend, with 2 young children- one of whom has severe disabilities, and who lost her young husband suddenly- and who finds herself in a situation where her income has plummeted- her house has, by French Law, been 50% inherited by her daughters) - and who just does not know what will happen to her. She has nothing to go back to in the UK.

Or other friends who bought 2.5 years ago- but had to wait for his retirement to make the move. They have not been there long enough to apply for permanent Residency- and do not have a high income at all. And 1000s more.

The uncertainty is causing so much stress and anxiety- especially to those who are, for one reason or another, 'vulnerable' - in a way they had never anticipated before.

I know quite a few who bought years ago and have been waiting for retirement to make the move - and not realise that will just not be possible.

jura2 Thu 18-Oct-18 11:15:57

But yes, I did pick up the 'illegal' from the Press- and you are right Mamie- 3rd country nationals.

When I arrived in London in 1970- I had to have a work place and work permit in place, applied for by my future employer beforehand. I was VERY very lucky to have had the right contacts for that to happen. I am the only Swiss/EU I know of, who didn't have to come as an Au Pair or as a Student.

As said, I had to retake my driving licence fully, no exchange possible. I can imagine how much stress would be caused, having to retake in French (or German, etc) for those in their 60s and 70s retired in rural areas. How many grans and grandads would like to have to retake their test fully, including first aid and theory, abroad and in a language their don't yet fully master.

jura2 Thu 18-Oct-18 11:17:48

stree - that is the whole point- When you are in the EU (or Switzerland) that did not previously matter. You did not require work permits and residency permits, and you were entitled to reciprocal health care, you could exchange your driving licence, etc. People made their choice to move on THAT basis, having done their research well.

Mamie Thu 18-Oct-18 11:21:29

I don't disagree with any of that Jura. There are also lots of stressed and worried people in the UK. If you read Mumsnet and other sources there are plenty of factual reports of people who are already losing their jobs and their businesses because of Brexit.
I personally just don't find that there is much point in discussing it on here any more. It is quite clear that (the vast majority) of posters won't change their minds.
Having said that, I will continue to point out when I know that the British press is misleading people.

Mamie Thu 18-Oct-18 11:24:43

On the subject of driving licences - if people have lived here for years without exchanging their licence for a French one then more fool them. The card licences would be out of date anyway. You would have to have had an old paper licence and not fallen foul of a speed trap ever. Unlikely I feel.

Fennel Thu 18-Oct-18 11:28:07

From another forum:
"The text that's suddenly being bandied about the UK media is a piece of internal French legislation. It wasn't written for British consumption. It was produced by the French government as part of doing its job. So to say it was written to show the UK what will happen, is paranoid in the extreme. Plus, the future of British citizens is not the main thrust of this document. It covers all the key areas for concern - trade, transport, food safety, animal health etc etc etc. "

Fennel Thu 18-Oct-18 12:17:36

Here's the original document:

jura2 Thu 18-Oct-18 12:52:33

Fennel 'So to say it was written to show the UK what will happen, is paranoid in the extreme.'

who said that and where?

jura2 Thu 18-Oct-18 13:11:21

Unless you mean this from Elegran 'This is posturing before the talks,' - in which case, yes.

Some UK friends did not change their driving licence because they keep a car in the UK, and you can't insure it if you have a foreign licence. We were in that position for a while, as we kept my old car at our flat for use when we are there- but had no choice but to get rid, as we had to exchange licence here in Switzerland.

lemongrove Thu 18-Oct-18 13:14:58

Reading the OP jura I thought to myself ‘ well, that’s the French for you then!’
Here in the UK we are doing the opposite, telling all EU nationals that they are welcome to stay.
We are clearly the better led government.