Welcome to the fifth edition of Voisins Voices. 2018 got off to a busy start with the Franco-British Summit in London in January where we announced a range of new partnerships between our two countries. Looking forward, we’ll be working to implement these agreements, alongside the work that we are already doing to continue to grow our unique and strong relationship.
On the Brexit front, you will have seen from my newsletter at the end of last year that we have now reached agreement with the EU on many aspects of citizens’ rights. The Prime Minister wrote to UK nationals living in Europe on 19 December with details of this agreement. We are aware that there are still outstanding issues with regards to citizens’ rights, which we will continue to work through in future rounds of negotiations and bilaterally. We will keep you updated on this and also share any information we have on the future French residency application system. Whilst I hope the agreement that has already been reached has provided you with some reassurance, I know that many of you still have questions and uncertainties. So we will be continuing our Embassy outreach events around the country. We’ve set out our events programme below – please keep an eye on our Facebook page. As ever, please do publicise these events as far as possible – we want to be able to meet with as many people as we can – and let us know if there is anywhere else that you would like us to include on our list. We would also be grateful for any practical advice on where would be best to host the meetings in the towns and cities listed below.
In January, the Prime Minister and President Macron hosted the latest Franco- British Summit. The Summit was an opportunity to reinforce the unique relationship and the many links between our two countries and to find new ways to work together.
For example, France and the UK agreed new partnerships on defence and security, migration, science and research, education and sport. It was also announced that the Bayeux Tapestry would be loaned to the UK – a reminder of the history of our relationship (nearly 1000 years) and how it will continue to stretch into the future. And the Summit was an opportunity to celebrate the human links between our two countries – which, after all, are at the heart of our partnership and are what drive it forward. At the Summit reception at the Victoria and Albert Museum, both the President and the Prime Minister paid tribute to the British and French citizens who live in both countries. As the Prime Minister said:
“I am proud that more than three million EU citizens (including hundreds of thousands of our French friends) have chosen to make your homes and livelihoods here in our country. I greatly value the depth of the contributions you make – enriching every part of our economy, our society, our culture and our national life. I know our country would be poorer if you left and I want you to stay. I know that Emmanuel feels the same about the British community in France”.
Over the coming months, we will continue to work with our French colleagues on delivering and developing the agreements from the Summit.
2017 ended positively, with the UK reaching agreement with EU negotiators on some complex, but critical, issues, including citizens’ rights. We also reached agreement on a financial settlement that honours the commitments we undertook as Member State of the EU and an agreement on the Northern Ireland border that preserves the territorial integrity of the UK and the stability brought about by the Belfast Agreement.
The progress we have made on these issues means we can now start talking about our future relationship with the EU. A first step will be agreeing the detail of a time-limited implementation period that we believe will give further certainty to people and businesses as we leave the EU.
As part of the discussions on the Implementation Period, we will cover the future status of individuals who arrive in the UK or the EU during this period. We will keep you informed as these negotiations progress.
Prime Minister May attended Emmanuel Macron’s One Planet Summit on 12 December 2017 in Paris to discuss vital climate actions with global leaders.
The British Embassy in Paris is planning several outreach meetings with the British expat community in the following months. The meetings will start with a short update on the current situation, followed by a Q&A session. Please sign up by clicking on the links below:
6 March 2018 – CAEN
12 March 2018 – CALAIS
We will shortly be announcing dates in Paris, Strasbourg, Brittany, Aude, Lyon, Aix-en-Provence, Nice, Limoges, Bordeaux, Nîmes, and Parthenay.
In addition to those events, we will be holding another Facebook Q&A session on 26 March from 13.00 to 14.30 (CET). Meanwhile, you can review our previous online Q&A here.