Brexit and Britons in France – January 2020

Latest updates on Brexit: election survey, postcard project, the Good Law project, local elections and the Harry Shindler case

24 December 2019
By Oliver Rowland
  • Britons are invited to take part in a survey about their participation in the recent UK general election and others since 2015, including whether they suffered postal voting problems. It comes as the UK referred in the December Queen’s Speech to ending the “arbitrary” 15-year limit on Britons abroad voting. To take part in the survey, by Dr Sue Collard of Sussex Uni­versity, see: Queen’s Speech also referred to limiting people to being a proxy for just two voters, including relatives, and giving more flexibility on when elections can be held. The speech pledged to bring in “points-based” immigration rules for all newcomers to the UK from 2021 and said an NHS surcharge payable by all new migrants would be increased. Changes in the EU Withdrawal Bill then reduced the role of MPs with regard to post-Brexit UK/EU negotiations. They also allowed for lower UK courts to bypass rulings of the European Court of Justice and the UK Supreme Court in interpreting EU rules retained in UK law. 
  • Brexit Brits Abroad, led by Dr Michaela Benson of the University of London, is asking readers to send postcards about their lives in France as part of a project with a new Migration Museum in London. See For more about the work of Brexit Brits Abroad, see brexitbritsabroad.orgA new study of how some Britons are struggling with being treated differently due to Brexit is at
  • Britons in France will not be able to take part in the French local elections in March as voters or candidates if Brexit takes place  on Janu­ary 31. While the UK will remain in the EU’s customs union and single market during the transition, it will no longer be an EU member and Britons will not be deemed EU citizens. 
  • The Good Law Project run by a British QC is petitioning the UK government to support associate EU citizenship for Britons who still feel European, saying it will help bring the UK together as the prime minister has called for. Visit
  • French barrister Julien Fouchet, known for fighting for Britons’ EU rights, intends to take a case to the European Court of Justice contesting the ratification of the deal, due to its impacts on Britons and alleged procedural irregularities. “We’ll do everything we can, but it won’t be easy,” he said. It will help if people and firms send testimonies of changes due to Brexit (news@connexion  mentioning “Fouchet” in the subject line). He is waiting for decisions on cases, including an ECJ bid for Italy resident Harry Shindler and five Britons in France, to retain the EU citizenship of Britons with well-established lives in EU states.







Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now