What happens if Britain leaves the EU ?

Barbara Deane's picture

Interested to hear about your feelings on this topic.


What will happen to us as far as health cover etc when we are no

longer working or able to work?



Andrew Hearne's picture

I'll be filling out the application form for naturalisation (already downloaded and waiting!) the moment the UK leaves the EU (if it leaves). In any case my health care and everything else will continue because I live and work here and that shouldn't change once I retire as I'm paying in to the French system (the pension will just be rather small, topped up with an even smaller UK one!)

Angela Nguema's picture

Andrew, did you know the naturalisation takes at least a year to be processed? In our case about 18 months from sending off the form to the ceremony at the préfecture. You would also maybe need to start the process in the UK of getting duplicates of parents' birth certificates (!!) to include in an application as they ask for those (photocopies not accepted)although my husband didn't have his dad's one & couldn't get one from Gabon so they waived it.

Andrew Hearne's picture

Thanks Angela - well worth knowing and I imagined it would take ages as does everything in France! I was going to do it but when I got to the parents' birth certificates bit I couldn't be bothered to explain to them why I wanted them etc. - they already find it hard at times knowing I'm in France for good! I can't really see the UK pulling out anyway, I think it's just a storm in a teacup, but if push ever comes to shove I'll be looking for those certificates straight away. I couldn't see them splitting a couple up and a father from his kids either just because the UK's pulled out of the EU, there again... :-O

Barbara Deane's picture

Andrew could end up being a storm in an expresso cup!

I take everything serously Andrew.....in order to continue without scrambled egg on one's face.


Came here 4 years ago and plodding through lots of big changes

tva on Chambre d hote????Bad Accountants...Bad bank...

May not be French but came here with a plan with related experience and funds.

The buisness is working because we have made it work. But other's in the wings want

to nibble at our goods or play at being noncalont.


Andrew Hearne's picture

I'm not saying I don't take it seriously Barbara, I'm serious about having the naturalisation forms already downloaded but I do think it's a storm in a teacup. I'm not living off money from elsewhere but here earning a living, have taught in schools, CCI and Uni but as ever there are no CDI available anywhere despite having a PGCE and maîtrise français langue étrangère. I'm now self employed profession libérale translating and teaching but looking to change again. Do my own accounts (no bad accountant) and have changed banks after problems, even got my OH to change too! Not easy at times but no problems "surviving" France (this is my only anglophone contact apart from peppa pig in my attempts to get them to hear some English!)

Glad to hear your life's working for you, as for the french wanting to nibble away at what you have - that's France from my experience and when I moan no one around me can understand what i'm moaning about - that's life, they don't know things can be done differently. all that said and done, I'll never be going back to the UK whether it's part of the EU or not ;-)

Bonnes fêtes de fin d'année !

Barbara Deane's picture

Funny enough it is not exactly the French who are doing the Nibbling!

The nibbling is not just about finances it is also the attempt to detach a little courage and giggle at ideas relating to localosed progress.

Good that you are fluent with accounting and language.

Each of us has a different composition of qualities.

I too have turned away from uk. I was no longer prepared to accept the way things were

operating around me and there was no chance to change them.

if UK does leave the EU it may not affect me but it will probably affect  many others.

i hope the world enjoys a new year.






elaine brett's picture

off subject i know.... in your opinion Andrew which bank is the one to go with preferably with an english speaking department.

Andrew Hearne's picture

La Banque Postale but I don't hink they have an English speaking dept. ot if you want to do everything online ING direct ;-)

elaine brett's picture

merci -)

Brian Milne's picture

Or Barclays France, better than the parent and less likely to go bottom up than ING who have had problems in the recent past.

elaine brett's picture

thanks brian -)


Hi to Angela and Andrew Hearne - have just signed up so sorry about the late comment  ! lol but did u know that when applying for French citizenship, if you can't supply both your parent's birth certificates (which both need to be translated by a "sworn in" translator ) you can supply in their place both Death Certificates OR just the one wedding certificate (which works out cheaper cos only one copy to have translated) - i inquired about this at my local Prefecture. 

Andrew Hearne's picture

Good to know Cristopher, the wedding certificate would be a good one, I'm a translator but not sworn (assermenté) as it's too much hassle for less money! but the translations aren't too expensive. You can get official copies of certificates too from the gov. site mentioned in this thread if originals aren't available, also means you can do it without upsetting parents who might feel it's the last nail in the coffin on you turning your back forever on the UK! I still have all the forms to fill out, they're still sitting on my desk and will do for some time with everything else going on at the moment!

Andrew Hearne's picture

Thanks Christa, I think you're right and perhaps that'll have to be my new year's resolution - get my arse into gear and get those forms filled out and certificates applied for - thanks for the info on where to apply too.

Bonnes fêtes de fin d'année (ça doit être bondé au ski !)

Roy Harwood's picture

Andrew:  I do earnestly counsel you to think very carefully before going down to your prefecture/sous prefecture and handing over ANY certificates.  They demand originals ONLY, and you will NOT get them back.  If you do decide to apply for naturalisation then make sure that ALL of the family apply together, and it can take years not months.  For example, my wife was entitled to French nationality because, although she was born in the UK,  her mother was French.  When we arrived in France in 1993 I was not eligible and was required to wait for the mandatory residential period.  The sous prefecture meanwhile took ALL of our family certificates (originals of course) for the formalities of giving my wife her French nationality, and when I later applied they simply refused to accept my application because I had no original certificates to give them.  All logical arguments that the sous prefecture already had these certificates were ignored and the demand literally parrot fashion was repeated that they would only accept original certificates.  Not surprisingly I lost my temper and told them where to stuff their naturalisation as I had no wish to be part of a country whose administration has this mentality.

Be warned therefore of what you are handing over in case you need these documents in the future - you will never retrieve them from the French administration

Andrew Hearne's picture

Thanks Roy, sorry it didn't work for you. I'm the only one in my family who isn't French - OH and kids are - which is the main reason for me wanting to apply. I'm well aware of what their like with documents - I had to chase, translate and advise the prefecture just for my driving licence and then insist I kept a whole load of classes, which I did but it took months and a full medical! I come across admin chaos a lot working within the university system here too - up to 6 months for them to pay my invoices at times!

Getting "new" originals sent from the UK seems to be the best way round the problem (see earlier in this thread) I've had a look and it isn't too expensive either + everything can be done via internet.

I'll update the thread as and whe I get round to doing the paperwork

à +

Andrew Hearne's picture

I think it's just in the case of an application for naturalisation, I've had no problems with any of my certificates that are years old for other things. Many things are ridiculous for NO reason, my french OH thinks they are too and no-one can explain why, that's just the way it is!

Angela Negro's picture

Every time I've ever done anything that required any sort of certificate in France, it's had to be less than 3 months' old - except for a Dr's cert for sport which had a lee way of 6 months!!!

Lucy Backs's picture

I haven't heard that Certificates need to be less than 3 months old!  My Birth Certificate is as old as I am (bar a week or two) and that seems to work for everything it has been needed for.  Ditto my Marriage Certificate, and my children's Birth Certificates.  So - maybe it is just the Naturalisation Department.... Or maybe I have been lucky with the officials I have dealt with - or something!

Andrew Hearne's picture

as with everything in France, I think it varies from one préfecture to another ;-)

Angela Negro's picture

True Roy - having received my French nationality in 2000 after receiving 'originals' from both Aussie and NZ I know that you can get any said originals easily. There's no point in telling them where to stuff their 'whatever,' they don't  care, having never known anything else. Better off getting your nationality and voting I say ;-)

Sarah Gant's picture

I've been thinking about naturalisation for a long time, regardless of what the nutters back in the UK  do about the EU.   Just  haven't got as far as downloading the forms yet!   It's my new year project.   You mentioned your pension - have you done any research on what, if anything, happens to your UK state pension?   That was on my list of things to check.

Brian Milne's picture

Barbara, my family all have Swiss nationality, I am entitled to permanet residency there and the agreement between France and that country is far more pertinent. So, bottom line, do I actually care. Alex Salmond could now very easily lead the Scots to independence and they have already said they would wish to remain in the EU whilst not join the Euro, so do I double care? Actually I do and am not spoon fed UKIP, Daily Maily or Torygraph negative propaganda every five minutes. Apart from an enormous collapse in property values here (we do not care, we will simply stay) and the fall out everywhere else in the west, what is the benefit in being in the Sterling area? Economically the UK will be temporarily isolated and the already 7th position in the world tables will go to a lower position very quickly as more stable economies continue, as Brazil has done, to grow. The day India overtakes the UK, as it inevitably will, the heart of the British emperial dream will dissolve and the country slide into rapid decline. Economists have foretold that some years ago but nobody wants to see it, it is too real to contemplate.

Barbara Deane's picture

<Brian without any intellectual or knowledgable understanding of economics, politics or complexion's of individual periodicals I can make a very clear message.

This was ....all of it....brewing for more than 10 years.

Britain eats, lives and breaths issolation from the financial structure which is falling apart to the

way people are together....or should I say Not together.

I am here because I no longer wanted to live in an over crowded city where people

glued together with their anger.

Life is about our relationships with people and creating sustinace and security.

This Forum helps us to relate to each other with our presence and our views.

So let us keep this alive and well in 2012  and carry on getting to know each other

and the view in the garden.

Happy new year everyone. May your dreams come true.

Thank you to the Higginsons for creating this.



Brian Milne's picture

As I am saying to the people trying to get MPs for 'ex-pats', debate and critique are legitimate tools. If it is sometimes pointed or hard then we must accept that, but not take it personally. I do not because I have done it so long it feeds me (which might show on these fora a bit).

I cannot bear to watch UK news because it is inevitable a meaningless murder will be reported, the impending massive debts, the bonuses paid to unworthy bankers, the complacency of this dreadful coalition and sometimes even worse. My non-British-origin wife could not stand living there ever again and my children are now happier than when they were there. So UK, arrividerci...

Europe, well I am old enough to remember Club of Rome and British politicians making excuses when de Gaulle et al would not have us in, the anti Common Market sentiments when going in and EEC debate when the CM became that. It is a jaded history in British minds, yet look at it in reality. Nations are supporting each other instead of letting each other do to the wall, the Euro is the second strongest trading currency in the world (which the UK has always striven against) and a little Englander mentality wants the EU and Euro to vanish in a puff of smoke so that one morning when they pick up the Mail or Telegraph they can read they are gone. Fools rush in... It is unlikely to happen and IF Europe learns from the present mess and reshapes itself then its imminent collapse will metamorphose into its triumph. That is what is perhaps marginally, but a good margin at that, likely to happen and to that end I shall remain optimistic for it to happen.

So messenger of doom media are for lighting fires or our stove if the cross our threshold, wherever from, and this very young and immature Europe is what my young children shall inherit and be part of long after I am gone, including the Euro I suspect.

Happy New Year anyway...

Steve Hayes's picture

>inevitable a meaningless murder will be reported<

They're saying today the murder rate has dropped to the extent that they will be reducing the number of police in murder squads.

It says here that France has a highr murder rate than UK (but both a low globally) http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/oct/10/world-murder-rate-unodc#data

Andrew Hearne's picture

Yep, look at all the revenge killings going on in Marseille at the moment but if you don't live in the quartier nord of Marseille it's not a big problem. cycled through there once after getting lost and I can safely say I've never pedalled so fast in my life to get out of there ;-O

Brian Milne's picture

I was not saying they are increasing was I? I just noted that over the Christmas period there were clearly racially motivated and vengeance killings, plsu the much publicised Stephen Lawrence was coming to an end and those were getting top spot. Numbers is another thing altogether. I have lived in South America, then you're talking numbers. Also, so what if France has more, their reporting - if you watch French news - does not give them that prominence thus not giving the impression the country is some kind of bloodbath which it is not either.

Andrew Hearne's picture

Yep, let's keep things in perspective, rural or small town france is still a very safe place to live. can't comment on the uk coverage and what's going on there... cos I've got no idea, sorry ;-)

Angela Negro's picture

Sorry… I'm not a Brit. Aussie turned French. My mum has just arrived. News: 11 killed in a hot air balloon crash. Yesterday a chef died after musroom poisoning. I stopped the 'news' full stop from any country since I'd had enough of the 'pointless murders'' and, AHEM! BONUSES PAID TO UNWORTHY BANKERS being reported on both the radio and tv here. It appears to be the same in many countries!!! Those messengers of doom of which you speak are many of the very French friends I have who have no positive concept of a European future. No positive concept of any future at all. Where exactly is the difference with English news?