For most Brits living in France, the Brexit was a shock. Fear and panic occurred in the British community immediately after. However, some points have to be kept in mind :
- Even if the UK voted leave, the British citizens living abroard are still, from a legal point of view, Europeans. No visa is actually needed for a British citizen travelling in the EU. The Brits living in France do not need to apply for a “ carte de séjour” as a South-African would for example.
- This situation will remain for probably a long time as several steps have to take place :
- Firstly UK has to apply Section 50 of the Lisbon treaty. PM Teresa May explained that the UK will not apply before it [UK] is ready to do so. It might be December 2016 but there is NO deadline in the EU treaties. So it could be much later and maybe …never.
- Secondly as soon as Section 50 is applied, a 2 year period starts. This time is dedicated to negotiations between the EU and the UK in order to find an agreement to determine how the UK will leave the EU. The UK will then not be an EU member only when this agreement is reached or 2 years after it has been reached (but again this period could be extended if the EU and the UK decide to do so)
- Since around 1.2 million British born people live in another EU country and 3.3 million EU citizens live in the UK, all politicians will carefully take into account all of the consequences.
- All legal experts agree that since Section 50 has never been applied before and as such similar negotiations have never taken place, all is very confusing.
But there is one point that is sure : nothing will happen soon !
Written by one of our AIPB Committee members who is also a French Avocat.