Brits should be allowed to stay in the event of no-deal Brexit, says France

Ministers say Brits should be allowed to stay in France (c) James53145 Thinkstock Photos

Ministers say Brits should be allowed to stay in France (c) James53145 Thinkstock Photos - Credit: Archant

Expat Britons in France should not be treated like illegal immigrants in the event of a no-deal Brexit, says French minister

Expat Britons should be allowed to stay in France even if the UK crashes out of the European Union without a deal – as long as French citizens in the UK are treated equally well, the French government has announced. European affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau unveiled draft legislation on Wednesday setting out preparations for a potential no-deal Brexit.

Speaking to the Liberation newspaper she said: “We must ensure that, in the absence of an agreement on 30 March 2019, Britons living in France do not find themselves brutally denied their legal status.” Ms Loiseau said the French government would seek a reciprocal arrangement in which expats in both countries would be treated the same.

She added: “A good agreement on the exit of the UK is still possible; however we must prepare for all scenarios, including a lack of agreement. We owe it to our citizens, to our businesses and to Britons living in France to be ready for all eventualities.”

The aim of the draft legislation is to give the government special powers to make new laws quickly if there is a no-deal.In a statement, the Elysée Palace said: “The government will take appropriate measures relating to the situation of British nationals in France. It will take account of the status granted by the United Kingdom to our nationals on its territory.”

Not all the 150,000 Britons resident in France have been completely reassured by the offer of reciprocal rights, however, as much will depend on how the British government treats French nationals in the UK.

For the latest government guidance on Brexit for expats in France visit the government’s living in France webpage.