New no-deal French law covers health and residency

France has fast-tracked a new law setting out rules for Britons living in France in the case of a no-deal.

This is to avoid problems which could otherwise arise as Britons’ legal residency status would end on March 29 as their EU citizenship is lost.

It should be noted that while France, the UK and the EU Commission consider that Brexit means Britons lose this citizenship, some lawyers argue it should survive. No court ruling has been given on this issue.

If Britain leaves with a deal, there will be a transition period and residents would have until July 2021 to apply for a residency card in France, probably of a new kind.

The aim is to allow them to “live their lives as before” but there would be a loss of local and/or EU voting rights and no onward free movement rights.

The new law largely aims to salvage similar arrangements in the case of no-deal – but it cannot cover matters solely within the UK’s control, such as exportability of UK disability benefits or uprating of UK state pensions.

If enforced, it must be ratified by the French parliament before mid-August to continue.

The law says the measures covering residency, RSA income support and healthcare for Britons may be cancelled if French people in the UK do not receive similar treatment.

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