What would no-deal mean for Britons in France?

Blue Europe flag with man chipping off a yellow star
Banksy's take on Brexit on the approach to Dover harbour

As we reported earlier chances of a no-deal Brexit have significantly increased with the rejection by MPs of the Brexit deal – here we give links to Connexion articles covering the implications of no-deal for Britons in France.

Britons in France would in theory risk immediately losing residency and working rights here as they would be considered ‘third country’ (non-EU) citizens sans papiers lacking correct legal residency documents unless France steps in.

Fortunately, France – which is not the case in all EU countries – has made plans for the scenario by passing an ordonnance (a law made by government order) allowing up to one year for Britons to apply for and obtain third-country residency cards (in the case of the deal a special new kind of card for Britons was being considered).

France has stated they would in some respects allow simplified, more flexible terms for obtaining the non-EU citizen cards as compared to ordinary third-country citizens and would waive the need for a visa as long as the UK does the same.

Some UK media suggested that the French no-deal law was designed to make life hard for Britons in France, however, as we explained it was quite to the contrary. We also wrote about other common misunderstandings about Brexit, including no-deal, in this article.

France’s Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau has said on several occasions that Britons in France are welcome and valued, including in a no-deal and that France wishes to help them to stay.

Nonetheless no-deal would increase the complications and uncertainty faced by Britons in EU countries, including France.

See below for more links and previous articles about what a no-deal would mean.

Late last year France and the UK started to outline their guidance for Britons in France in the no-deal scenario. Among other points France confirmed that British fonctionnaires could, exceptionally, keep their jobs despite becoming third-country citizens.

France and UK clear confusion for Britons abroad (from January newspaper - paywall/subscribers)  

We also looked at the UK’s no-deal advice for Britons in the EU in this article

UK releases no-deal paper on expatriate rights

We explained how the French planned to avoid ‘chaos’ in no-deal with their new law (although they strongly preferred to have the deal) in this article from the December edition of The Connexion newspaper (paywall/subscribers)

The French Interior Minstry created new web pages of advice for Britons, including in the no-deal scenario, and Connexion translated key sections 

Government sources said France would be ‘flexible’ on the income requirements for obtaining third-country citizen cards

Brexit and incomes: France to be flexible (from March newspaper - paywall/subscribers) 

France’s new no-deal law includes emergency measures to avoid Britons immediately losing residency and healthcare – an article from our latest newspaper, below, looks in-depth at what is in the ordonnance, we also covered the publication of the ordonnance at this link 

New no-deal French law covers health and residency (from March newspaper - paywall/subscribers) 

It confirms that residency matters will be more secure and in some cases simpler to formalise for those who can prove they have lived in France at least five years (and exchange is planned for those with the séjour permanent EU card), as a senor French official said would be the case a year ago

Permanent residents are priority – ministry official 

There would need to be urgent bilateral negotiations on points including UK state pensioners healthcare after two years and their pension uprating

Ambassador: focus is on future health deal (from March newspaper - paywall/subscribers) 

Questions raised over OAP healthcare in no-deal 

OAP healthcare in no-deal depends on new deals 

UK reveals details on pension rights after Brexit 
[Editor's note: after writing this article the UK made further statements on OAP healthcare, see here].

A no-deal Brexit also raises questions about the ‘EU pension aggregation’ system, as we explained here

How might Brexit affect pensions of Britons in France? (paywall/subscribers) 

Britons will need to exchange their driving licences for a French one

Cut-off date set for driving licence exchange

Urgent measures are needed to ensure flights keep running as normal between the UK and the EU

‘No need to worry’ over cancelled flights 

No-deal Brexit would disrupt some flights, UK confirms 

There are concerns over potential bad feeling on both sides of the Channel

French minster meets mayors in UK to keep good links 

Many people have been trying to put their affairs in order so as to be best-prepared whatever the scenario, we published a checklist of some key points here

What to do to get ready for Brexit

Second home owners would also be affected

Second home owners in France – questions on Brexit (from March newspaper - paywall/subscribers) 

Status of second home owners in France after Brexit 

Travel with a pet will be more complicated

Travelling with a pet if there is a no-deal Brexit (paywall/subscribers)

There would be additional complications relating to British passports for entry to France

Would your UK passport be valid in a no-deal Brexit? 

The cards that Britons would have to apply for would not be free and could cost up to €269

No-deal residency cards expected to cost €269 

There could be some complications regarding financial matters including bank accounts

Threat to UK bank accounts (paywall/subscribers) 

Confusion over no-deal Brexit and bank accounts 

In a deal, the existing rights to come to France, and for second home owners to visit their French homes, would continue to the end of 2020 pending further negotiations as to the 'future relationship', however no-deal means the UK would immediately be seen as a ‘third country’ to the EU. On the UK’s side that means tougher immigration criteria for EU citizens moving to the UK would start straight away, likely to be reciprocated by the EU.

UK immigration shake-up to prioritise skills and means 

UK to only accept highly-paid and skilled EU citizens 

The UK consular service could expect increasing calls on its help in the no-deal as pressure is placed on Britons in France to regularise their situations without the buffer of the transition period

Consular service gears up to give carte help (from January newspaper – paywall/subscribers) 

Consular service gears up to help Britons in the EU 

No-deal would also mean big challenges at the ports

Urgent action needed to reduce parts chaos in no-deal 

French customs staff impose Brexit work to rule 

There would be other no-deal impacts such as on mobile phone tariffs or legal cooperation including in family law cases as we explained in this article

More no-deal papers, but nothing about expatriates 

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