Vienna Conventions no help to expats

14 June 2016

A former British ambassador to Chad, Sir Christopher MacRae, has contacted Connexion to say that none of the various ‘Vienna Conventions’ can be relied on to help maintain expats’ rights. 

Sir Christopher wrote following the remarks of one of the leaders of the Vote Leave campaign, Lord Lawson, who told Connexion that the Vienna Convention could would safeguard the status quo for existing British expats in France. 

He said: “Lord Lawson - once a most intelligent minister - has clearly lost the plot! I'm a former British ambassador living, like Nigel Lawson, in retirement in France. 

“There are at least three ‘Vienna Conventions’. None gives any real protection to British retirees in France. 

“In the event of a ‘Brexit’ there will be a period, maybe lasting a number of years, in which bilateral treaties between the UK and France will have to be re-negotiated. 

“It would be rash to predict the outcome.” 

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