by Ed Llewellyn, British Ambassador to France

Dear all,

It has been a real pleasure meeting so many of you in recent weeks. In the last month or so my team and I have been to Limoges, Périgueux, Le Mans, Carcassonne and Narbonne – as well as all of the regular contact with our teams in Paris and around the country.

Brexit is of course the main issue raised by British nationals here in France, and our aim is to answer as many questions as we can, to be honest where there is further work to do, and to keep you informed. Where new issues arise, we make sure they are fed back to London. But it’s also true that there are regular themes or recurring issues that come up. Reflecting that, we have produced a Top Ten Q&A of the most frequently asked questions (see below), which we hope you will find helpful.

In the coming months we’ll be continuing with our roadshow — we’ll be in Nîmes on 26 June and Montpellier on 11 July. And we’ll shortly be announcing dates and locations for the Autumn. Thank you to those of you who sent in suggestions – and do please keep them coming to France.Enquiries@fco.gov.uk. As with the events so far we’ll structure these sessions around a short introduction, but keep most of the time for a question and answer session and discussion with you.

We want to make sure that we include as many people as possible. So we would ask those who register but are unable to attend to please cancel their place on the same site so that we can offer your seat to somebody else. And for those who can’t make it, you can review our two live Q & As from December 2017 and March 2018 on Facebook and all our previous newsletters can be accessed on GOV.UK.

It has been a busy few months in other areas of our work too, and we’ve had a lot of reasons to celebrate recently, including the Royal Wedding of course, and our annual Queen’s Birthday Party. This year the theme for the latter was another anniversary, 100 years of the RAF. We were delighted to host France’s Defence Minister and we also managed to reassemble an authentic Spitfire in the garden to mark the occasion. You can find photos of the event here.

I look forward to meeting more of you in the months to come.


Un été so British
As well as supporting British nationals and Britain’s security and prosperity, we see the strengthening and celebration of Franco-British links as a key part of our work. This summer, the British Embassy has a packed agenda to do just that – and to entice more of our French friends to cross the Channel and experience the best of what the UK has to offer.

In Paris, we are excited to be partnering with the Petit Palais and the Tate on an exhibition that celebrates a previous generation of expatriates who did just that – the artists who moved to London during the period of the Commune. The Impressionists in London, previously on display at Tate Britain, opened just this week and will run until October. So do check it out if you are in Paris. What’s more, we are bringing across British bands to perform at the Petit Palais through July, continuing the cultural exchange (details in the accompanying box).

Outside of Paris, the Embassy will be taking a slice of the UK around France for our “Voisins on tour”. We’ll be touring the South of France in a London bus in July, stopping off in Nantes, Bordeaux, la Rochelle and Toulouse (TBC), to share British culture, tourism and to promote the ties between our two countries. Please do come and see us if you are in the area! And, speaking of buses, we’ll be participating in Gay Pride, as we did last year, celebrating our countries’ shared values and flying the flag.

21 June — 19.00
: To celebrate the opening of the exhibition ‘The Impressionists in London, French artists in exile (1870-1904)’ and the Fête de la Musique, the Petit Palais hosted an evening event that took us back to the London of the sixties.  British alternative rock band Public Service Broadcasting played, while those who signed up for free were able to enjoy the museum’s garden while sipping on a Pimms, let the resident make-up artists transform them into “Twiggy” and take a picture in front of a British phone booth.

Every Friday for a month, enjoy the “Brit Sessions,” a series of concerts featuring British (and Franco-British) bands. Free entrance upon registration on the Petit Palais’ Facebook page.
29 June — 19.30 to 20.30: Be Charlotte
6 July — 19.30 to 20.30: David Zincke (and Joyce Jonathan)
13 July — 19.30 to 20.30: Paperface
20 July — 19.30 to 20.30 Ferris & Sylvester

Basic information:
Petit Palais – Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris
Avenue Winston-Churchill, 75008 Paris
Métro : lines 1 and 13, station Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau and ligne 9, station Franklin-Roosevelt
RER : ligne C, station Invalides
Bus : 28, 42, 72, 73, 83, 93

Ambassador Ed Llewellyn reviews a painting from the exhibition “Impressionnistes à Londres, artistes français en exil (1870-1904).” On display at the Petit Palais in Paris until October 2018.
This summer, look out for our Les Voisins bus in Nantes, La Rochelle and Bordeaux. Au menu: concerts, introduction to croquet, tea time, and plenty of other games in this authentic British “pop-up village!”
1. Can I stay in France after Brexit?
The agreement reached with the EU means that those living legally and permanently in France will be able to stay here and continue to work and access education and healthcare.

More specifically, if you have been legally and permanently living in France for five or more years at the end of the implementation period (i.e December 2020 – see below) then you will covered by this agreement – known as the Withdrawal Agreement. You will be entitled to the rights agreed by the EU and the UK. Unless you leave France for a period of more than five years, then you will be entitled to these rights indefinitely.

If you have been legally and permanently living in France for less than five years by the end of the implementation period, then you will be allowed to stay to make up these five years. During this time you will be covered by the rights outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement.2. What is the ‘implementation period’?
The UK will no longer be an EU Member State after 29 March 2019. However, we have agreed with the EU on an implementation period that will last until 31 December 2020. Until the end of 2020, UK nationals living in EU Member States, including France, continue to have broadly the same rights and status as today.

3. What should I do now as a UK national living in the EU? How will I register in France after Brexit? Will I need a carte de séjour?
The French Ministry of Interior are working on the system they will put in place to enable British nationals covered by the Withdrawal Agreement to claim their rights after Brexit. The agreements already made with the EU commit them to keeping any such system smooth, simple and transparent and as soon as the French Government has reached a decision, information will be shared as widely as possible. You will have until at least June 2021 to submit any necessary registration documentation. In the meantime, we would encourage eligible UK nationals to prepare your papers (bank statements, statements of household bills etc) to demonstrate your continued residency in France and to apply for a carte de sejour.

On cartes de séjour, you do not currently need one, but are entitled to one, subject to the same requirements as other nationals of EU member states. The British Embassy is in regular contact with the French Authorities and if you experience problems obtaining a carte do please contact us (france.enquiries@fco.gov.uk).

We are in the process of updating the Government’s online Living in France Guide, which provides practical information for expatriates and which  we will use to share the latest information on cartes de séjour and the future registration system; you may wish to sign up for updates here.

4. Will I continue to receive my UK state pension after Brexit?
Yes. If you are covered by the withdrawal agreement with respect to a UK state pension for social security coordination purposes then you will continue to receive an uprated – and aggregated, if applicable – state pension. The same is true for those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement who reach state pension age after the implementation period.

5. What about healthcare cover and benefit export?  
These are also covered by the social security coordination section of the Withdrawal Aagreement. Just as you will continue to receive an uprated state pension, retirees will continue to receive associated healthcare – what are known as reciprocal healthcare rights (S1, EHIC and S2 rights)  once they export their state pension.

The rights to equal treatment for healthcare of those employed in France are also protected – on the same basis as a comparable French national.

If you are covered   by the Withdrawal Agreement, you will also continue to have the right to export relevant benefits – basically as under current EU social security coordination rules – and any associated reciprocal healthcare cover.

6. Will my child be able to continue schooling in France?
Yes. If you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, your child will be eligible for schooling, further and higher education in France as they are now.

7. Will my family members be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement?
Yes – your direct family members will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement in the same way as under current EU rules. This includes spouses and partners (where a relationship existed before the end of the Implementation Period), children under 21 or those older than 21 but who are still dependant (e.g students supported by their parents) and dependant parents or dependant grandparents. Children who are born or adopted after the end of 2020 will also be covered.

8. Will I be able to move to another EU MS in the future?
Until the end of the Implementation Period there is no change to your ability to move to other EU Member States. Onward movement, beyond 2020, is one of the points that we have not yet reached agreement on with the EU  We will continue to pursue this, and other outstanding issues, as part of our negotiations.

9. I live in one country but work daily in another country. Will I still be able to do this?
Yes. If, for example, you live in France but work daily or weekly in Germany, you will continue to be able to do this.

10. I have been out of the UK for 15 years and unable to vote in the UK elections. Is the Government still committed to changing this?
We fully appreciate how strongly people feel about the 15 year voting rule. The Government was elected with a commitment to ‘votes for life’ and is supporting a Private Members’ Bill which, if it becomes law, will implement this commitment.


Find out the latest information on our Living in France Guide, which also includes information on how to access healthcare, get documents legalised, our lists of lawyers, etc. Sign up for updates here.