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Britons in Dordogne speak out against no-deal

Around 100 people joined a rally in Bergerac, Dordogne on Saturday to draw attention to potential harmful effects of a no-deal Brexit on Britons in France.

One of the organisers, Kathy John from campaign group RIFT in the Dordogne and Lot-et-Garonne, said people expressed worries about issues such as obtaining cartes de séjour to protect their residency rights or the future healthcare rights of British pensioners in France.

The rally was attended by British residents as well as local French people and French partners of Britons, she said.

“If anyone expressed any curiosity while they were walking past we engaged with them to show our point of view.

“Reactions were very positive from the French, but one English lady on holiday said ‘What do you hope to achieve? You’re completely misreading the mood at home, that we just want to get it done and get out’.

“I was polite but said ‘that’s not what we are hearing at all’. But she was adamant and walked away tutting that what we were wasting our time. But we didn’t think we were.

“People who came to the rally felt supported by getting together with like-minded people so they didn’t feel they were dealing with this on their own and other British people who live here said to us ‘well done, that’s great’.

“I’ve personally only come across one or two people who live here and who voted Brexit and I can’t get my head around that.”

Mrs John added: “No one ever really thought it would come to the point where we would appear to be hurtling towards a no-deal and we especially wanted to make the French aware of the difficulties we would face.”

A film crew attended from France 3 and the rally was also reported in the local Sud Ouest newspaper and on France Bleu radio, she said.

For updates on future events people should join the RIFT in the Dordogne and Lot-et-Garonne Facebook page.

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