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'We must ensure Britons can stay in France'

The Connexion, Oct 4

France’s Europe Minister said on Thursday that the government must make sure that British people living in France are able to stay if there is a no-deal Brexit.

The comment came in an interview with Le Figaro, just before she presented a new Brexit 'no deal' law to the Council of Ministers.

The minister, Nathalie Loiseau, said that in a no-deal scenario Britons would lack any legal residency status after Brexit, but she added: “Our will is to treat them well, with, of course, a concern for reciprocity to the benefit of our citizens living in the UK. The British government has made assurances to us, promising a favourable status to EU citizens.”

However she also said today that a no-deal would be better than a bad deal which would harm European businesses’ competitiveness.

The new law presented to the Council of Ministers asks for the government to have special powers to make laws in the case of having to cope with a no-deal Brexit (as previously announced by the Prime Minister).

The draft law, expected to be debated by the Senate next month then the National Assembly in December, reiterates an intention to consider how the UK treats French expatriates when it comes to dealing with the rights of British people living in France before Brexit.

It also says that France will look to take measures that will help their own citizens in the UK, such as recognising time they spent paying into a UK state pension when calculating their overall pension rights, or recognising qualifications they obtained in the UK.

Whether or not there is a deal, after Brexit Britons in France are expected to have cartes de séjour to prove they are living legally and stably in France, either by applying now for one as a European citizen or applying later for a different kind of card.


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