An EU streamlined entry/exit registration system for visiting non-EU citizens, logging personal details and travel dates, is to be launched at the earliest in 2021.
Until then, Britons would be subject to current requirements, including showing enough funds for the trip, health insurance, proof of accommodation and having their passport stamped so they do not overstay the three months.
They may also need visitor visas, depending on whether there is time to remove this formality, as wished, before a no-deal.
This could cause hold-ups for holiday-makers and second home-owners, but also for residents coming home who cannot show a valid carte de séjour.
It would be a particular problem for those who have not obtained any card, but possibly also for those with cards obtained as EU citizens which would no longer match their non-EU status.
The ministry’s plan – not yet definite – is for a year’s grace period in which Britons would be legally resident here without a card but would need to apply for one within six months of Brexit (a ministry source said that in which case, EU citizens' cards obtained by Britons before Brexit should also remain acceptable at the border during this period as proof that they are residents).
France proposes entry formalities be lightened for them, saying Britons do not pose a significant illegal immigration risk.
The EU is said to be open to this but less flexible on the passport stamp. The EU suggests a census of Britons living in France at Brexit day so as to issue a document exempting them from a stamp at the border.
A decree is now expected to clarify income levels Britons will need to obtain certain non-EU citizen cards. The ministry source said this may be at the €551 level of RSA income support (€826 for a couple).
It is expected to take into account home ownership and to include exemptions for the disabled.
It is hoped card fees will be reduced to €119.