In the last few days we have been exposed to massive coverage of Brexit.
The withdrawal agreement is an international treaty between the EU and the UK, which brings clarity and guarantees for most Brits established in France.
Hallelujah! Soon the negotiations will move on. After all, only the club’s exit bill, the Irish border conundrum and citizens’ rights have been decided.
That leaves a staggering amount to do to restructure a half-century of economic, legal, trade, security, diplomatic, social, education, research and cultural relationships.
Amongst all the noise, three interesting aspects have been overlooked by the press.
The most striking is the 11-month transition period. This enables the UK population to continue enjoying the benefits of EU membership and so Boris Johnson has insulated himself from the ire of his voters for almost a year.
Secondly, while the UK was a member, the EU had a responsibility of care towards the UK as much as to any other member state and as such did not take sides.
The new UK government wants complete independence, but be careful what you wish for.
The EU will now have to take the side of each member state.
If France finally has enough of Calais and lets immigrants with passports on ferries to England, the EU can no longer be an arbitrator and neutral broker.
Thirdly, I found the symbolism of the UK leaving on Central European Time (the treaty took effect at midnight) indicative. The first act of leaving was on EU terms. The UK is always an hour behind Brussels.
John Hall, St Cyprien, Pyrénées-Orientales
I am French and European. I am still very upset after seeing some English people celebrating Brexit. I was really angry to see Mr Farage so happy (he should give back the money for his European MP’s salary!).
I felt rejected and insulted. I think a lot of people in the EU feel the same. For me, it is clear there are two kinds of English people – the expats and the remainers – and the others on their small island...
The expats were doubly punished. My husband is English and since the result of the referendum, we have been really worried.
We are still waiting for the carte de séjour. We don’t know how long we’ll have to wait. I can’t understand why the English celebrated their new freedom when they refused the right for the Scottish people for another referendum about their own independence.
The English can’t expect to obtain all they want in the trade deal. I just hope that the rights of the expats will be protected without any condition, whatever happens [Editor’s note: This is correct, they are protected].
One day, the English could have another referendum. Would you like to be the 51st state of the US? Ironic, isn’t it? No doubt that Mr Farage would find a new job!
“Après avoir craché dans la soupe, on ne peut pas avoir le beurre, l’argent du beurre et les fesses de la crémière!” [A French expression along the lines of “you cannot have your cake and eat it”]
Marie Heath, Thouars, Deux-Sèvres
We are UK residents with a second home in France. We own a small property in Quillan and try to spend as much time there as possible.
When we bought the property, it was run down and in a sorry state. My wife and I have spent thousands of euros to turn the house into a home and now we are being told that we may lose the right to visit there any time we want to.
Towns like Quillan depend on second home owners.
We voted remain and we want to remain European and travel to France whenever we want. We love France and feel that, as second home owners, we are being forgotten.
Mike and Anita Tuvey, by email
Scanning the pages of our latest edition of Connexion, I was struck by the fact there are folk who, despite living in France, nevertheless take the liberty of applauding the act of Brexit.
How can these people reconcile living here, in a state so blatantly obviously “run by Brussels”, when the option of returning to “New Heaven” is available, and immediately so?
Perhaps they inhabit a UK enclave and are not obliged to sully their lips with speaking French?
Rowland Webb-Martin, by email
I watched in horror, disgust and dismay at Nigel Farage’s farewell speech to the EU.
The ignorant, childish and immature behaviour made me cringe and ashamed to be British.
Is there any wonder the UK became the laughing stock of the world during the Brexit fiasco, with people like him spouting their venom?
Richard Fell, Gagnac-sur-Cère, Lot
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