Having lived the last 40 years, worked and retired in France, Anthony and Janine Marfleet’s letter (Problems and possibilities with Brexit, August 2018) left me confused.
Why have they chosen to leave an apparently sublime UK to live in a Europe where they are trampled on by unions, and suffer an undemocratic Europe while witnessing the ‘rip-off’ of the UK. They are stoics!
Contrary to their view, the UK motor industry is not thriving. It is quivering in its boots.
Production of cars for the UK has dropped 47%; no car in Europe is made exclusively in any one country today; UK-made engines go to another country to be finished; components are exported, others imported; about half the components for a car made in the UK come from another country – which is why the industry is worried since it relies on the free flow of parts between countries.
Several manufacturers have rung alarm bells saying a hard Brexit will heavily influence future UK investment or even cause them to move. Airbus has said the same.
Since the UK has operated within the EU under rather more favourable terms than any other member nation, I am left wondering exactly how the EU has ‘ripped off’ the UK? Had the Marfleets lived in southeast England in the last couple of years and commuted by train they might have revised their opinion regarding unions!
Having studied the EU, it appears to be just as democratic as the UK – perhaps even more so!
Richard Chandless, Saöne-et-Loire
I can only assume Anthony and Janine Marfleet do not live in France full-time or are wealthy enough not to have to worry about the implications of Brexit.
I don’t want to get into politics; but I must challenge their assumption that public sector employees don’t work hard and then retire on big fat pensions.
My wife and I have lived full time in France for seven years; we both have public sector pensions and worked hard with long hours and contributed a substantial amount of our salary to get them.
We moved to France as part of Europe and we expected changes but did not anticipate Brexit or that UK expats would be left as cannon fodder or collateral damage.
I would also challenge their use of the word ‘Remoaners’ because we disagree with Brexit. Perhaps in the Marfleet world map we are not entitled to an opinion...
Greg Mayhew, Tarn
How could the Brexit Referendum result be described as a ‘Democratic Vote’ when it was obvious that England, the country in ‘The United Kingdom’ with by far the largest population, would determine the outcome which affects all four countries?
Would it not have been more democratic if the percentage votes of those voting Remain and Leave in each country had been totalled, giving final UK percentages, rather than sheer volume of people voting for each option deciding the outcome?
John Spinks, Dieppe
Second-home owners should be seen as a separate category in the Brexit negotiations as we are a significant number and potentially seriously affected.
Owners are wide-ranging from holiday homes used only a few weeks per year to established homes used for up to six months, the owners of which may not be in a position to change residential status, so cannot get a carte de séjour.
We spend up to six months a year in France, managing the garden and orchard. It is a place where our far-flung family can meet and spend time. The winter months are in the UK for professional, financial and family commitments. We retain UK residential status and UK taxpayer status while still making a not insignificant contribution to the local French economy.
After Brexit, visits to France may be limited to 90 days within any six months, making our lifestyle no longer possible. We are both in our 70s – and the upheavals of such a change do not appeal.
This type of problem needs to be considered by the Brexit negotiators, especially in its French context, though there might be similar problems in Spain.
Adrian Harvey, Saöne-et-Loire