French law will protect Britons in Brexit chaos

Draft deal ‘changes everything’ says ministry source

Key rights for Britons living in France are protected under the draft EU Brexit deal but other factors affecting Britons abroad in the EU continue to be in doubt.

One significant step forward is that the Senate has passed a bill giving the French government powers to make laws securing Britons’ residency rights, among other issues,  in the case of a no-deal Brexit – although it requires the UK to treat French expats well.

The bill stresses the need for emergency laws as the rights of Britons to live, work and claim benefits here would all be lost in the event of a no-deal. It is set to be debated by MPs on December 10 before becoming law.

Olivier Cadic, senator for the French abroad, told colleagues: “Five million people [Britons in the EU and EU expats in UK] are living in great anxiety. This nightmare must cease. We must be flexible and pragmatic.”

The draft deal covers the right to an annually-uprated UK pension and for Britain to continue to pay for pensioners’ healthcare. It  still faces the challenge of passing both the UK and EU parliaments.

Omissions include local and EU election voting and the right to freely move to, or work in, other ...

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