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Will British wife share same rights as Irish husband?

I am Irish, living in France, and my wife is British. Will she share the same rights as me after Brexit? T.P.

This is a complex question. There are wide-ranging benefits to EU citizenship for people living in an EU country, however probably the biggest concern of most Britons resident in France after Brexit will be whether they will lose their residence rights. With regard to that aspect the answer is that yes, your wife – as your spouse – will share the same rights to remain in France as you, says honorary avocat Gerard Barron from Boulogne-sur-Mer.

“Were negotiations not to protect residential status in the long term or to make continued residence subject to conditions, marriage to an EU citizen who continues to be entitled to reside here would protect the continuing residential rights of the spouse of British nationality,” he said.

When it comes to healthcare, it depends on your situations. If your wife has French healthcare via an S1 form as a UK state pensioner, it is possible this will stop, depending on the agreement reached between the UK and EU. If, however, you have healthcare rights via an Irish S1 then an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said your wife would benefit as your spouse. Similarly if you work then your wife may ask to be attached to the same health ‘caisse’ as yourself and she would not have anything to pay for this as long as you are paying into French social security through work and are earning at least €3,861/year.

If all else fails, she could apply under the ‘Puma’ French healthcare rules based on individual rights of legal residents. How- ever, depending on income, she might have to pay in an annual fee to benefit.

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