Are you scared?

In the event of a vote for Brexit, there will be huge complexities in unravelling the existing UK/EU relationship and establishing a new one. Our rights of residence will be one issue amongst many, and in practice it would not be possible to have all these issues even identified, let alone resolved in advance of a referendum.

As I pointed out in another post most of the issues will work both ways round, and the practical interests of the UK and the EU ought logically to mean the preservation of existing rights. To do otherwise would no doubt lead to litigation and disputes not to mention huge additional administrative cost. All EU countries struggle to deal with the current workload on immigration. It cannot make sense to add a whole additional set of problems by those people with existing residential rights having to reapply.

Post Brexit negotiations would be long and complex. Let us hope they do not become necessary.

I immediately qualified for French healthcare as soon as I started living here more than six months a year, when I started filing French tax returns. I am just saying that you would at least have the rights that I have had as an American here, which are pretty substantial in my view, as an exEU Brit.

As an Old Etonian, I hope you would accept that within that classification there will be those who are actually quite civilised and with whom you would not necessarily need to be at war. You might even find you liked some of them!

yep, 18 years and counting! :-(

As it stands, 18 years to go then with retirement and pensionable ages going up. If they freeze UK pensions then you might as well donate them to buy a pair of socks for somebody in need - and I mean the whole year's worth.

The final bit reads like the bible according to IDS. I fear it is a pretty precise summing up of what would happen. For those in a dead end situation that is grim.

I was 'at war' with Old Etonians (and others like them) as of October 1966 and thought of most of them as overblown low life back then. The present clique in the high places of UK government confirms my prejudice, thus the only pleasure I get in any of this is that my prejudice is confirmed but on the other hand I could weep for all the people who are suffering and will come to suffer at their hands.

I'm in the process of setting up a private pension but I'm waiting for the refund from the RSI and agreement to my dégrêvement before starting it - we're talking about reasonable amounts of money but, like the UK state pension, very small amounts at retirement age as I'm already 50 :-(

I am a retired (well retired) British architect. My British qualifications and experience are not recognised here in France even for the simplest project. (Back in the UK I was principal in a reasonably large sized London practice). My wife is non EU on a Carte de Sejour. Her teaching diploma is not recognised in France. She is applying for French nationality. Our daughter is British but born in France and she is entitled to French nationality at 16. I have lost the WFP. I could lose healthcare if there is an exit (no policies have been even discussed) and would lose index linking of my UK state pension. Considering the potential, even likely, problems which could apply to literally hundreds of thousands who moved on the basis that we were in the EU and that brought rights it is a total scandal that the referendum issues have not been properly explained or aired. It's like nobody really wants to scare the population (don't mention the war). MPs don't want to discuss it with their expat constituents. Mine (a Minister) told me she was more interested in her young London constituents than her expat ones. Straight up. We will be the forgotten army. The Daily Mail will continue to portray us as gin soaked ruddy faced plutocrats sitting beside their swimming pools.

Just registered online to vote in the referendum - took less than 5 minutes.

Politicians without plans ... never !! Mockery aside Cameron is as big a fool as people think, Osborne can't do simple maths, old Eton rules ok. But Cameron won an election based on fibs and lies, the Liberals disappeared as everyone (but they) expected following their U-turn on university fees simply to get power. The referendum was expected to be a formality, he'd negotiate changes and say "look what I've saved for the UK". But now he's faced with little by way of change and the fear factor is being used as really he doesn't want an exit, not unless he thinks that would win another election of course. It's all about power, no more, no less. What would happen I expect is that they'd draw a retrospective line in the sand and before that date you'd remain frozen in time as far as the UK is concerned (or even with your rights being gradually withdrawn) and that your new country of residence would have to assume responsibility for you; if you qualified for French health, pension etc. In other words ... you'd be on your own Jack.

All not great news then. I receive basic state pension from the UK. I take it every three months in order to see a sum of money arrive, even then it is one family shop a week roughly. So any chance you have of a private pension go for it. Having seen mine go down the Swanee in 2009 and having to wait several more years for my 'compensation' that will be less than I paid in tells me that even that is not as watertight as I thought it would be.

Then the RSI! What a bunch of incompetents to begin with. I am and shall remain an AE with a bit of income ticking over, just enough to keep me in the system. But oh no, they wrote to tell me I had retired but am not entitled to a pension. That took some sorting out by phone with them eventually saying that I should have ignored the letter! So who knows what goes on with them.

Then they told my OH that she will probably never get a pension. So she referred them to a long standing reciprocal agreement with Switzerland, just post WW2, but they denied its existence. So she contacted the authorities in Berne who sent a letter to confirm its existence. We popped into the local office to put the letter under noses. The slightly more senior quasi-manager person we got phoned Paris. Lots of ums and ahs, then walked over to the computer nearest and open up a site, printed out a page and gave it to us. It showed the date on which the agreement with the Swiss was rescinded but did not show when that was ratified by Berne. So, back to contacting Berne and sending them a scan of the printout. They sent back another saying the old agreement had been rescinded but on the same day a new one came into effect that clarified and improved the older one. Despite the drive to Périgueux we went back, this time I had no business of my own but just wanted to watch. Another quasi-manager type ummed and ahhed again then had a look. Sure enough the new had replaced the old and that was almost 30 years ago but they did not know about it. Then to put the icing on the cake, this supervisor said that by the time she is old enough to retire the RSI will not exist anyway and pensions as they exist now will be a thing of the past. She recommended finding a reliable private pension scheme!

All of this sounds highly dubious. In that respect we are all between a rock and a hard place!

Yes essential to register to vote in the referendum. A disgrace that those over the 15 year rule will be excluded. It's more and more likely that the vote will be THIS YEAR. Do something, do not do nothing. If there is a Brexit it's certain that pensions will be frozen at least. The pound might go down further as well- it's lost about 10% already this year. If we lost healthcare then personally I think there will be mass panic amongst us oldies and many will be too poor to move back to the UK. I already know of some who moved back from quite a nice house in France to a caravan park in Eastern England. I am reminded of the many who left Rhodesia and ended up in poverty in the UK.

Old style carte de sejour not the same thing as titre de sejour which is all we need at the moment = it will change back if we are non EU citizens

taken to the extreme, yes, but throwing me out would separate me from my kids and OH - can't see that happening even if marine gets in ;-)


Getting a Carte de Sejour is not a big dewl for non EU passport holders.You just have to spend a day getting various papers together (many copies of each) first for a long duration visa and then for a Carte de Sejour. I had to renew this Carte for five years until suddenly I was presented with a Carte valid for ten year with the right to work here.

Of course you need to prove that you have enough money and won’t be indigent. I am a writer and illustrator publishing mostly via NY publishers, so I have never needed to seek local work.

The thing is that if you meet minimum expectations and just do the paperwork, you get the Carte in France, unlike the USA. Immigrating there is extremely expensive and requires lawyers and even after going through the lengthy process you can be rejected. You are competing with others for a limited number of Green cards.

That's my understanding on it too, Alex. I've been an indépendant for years and don't count on getting anything back from the RSI, that's why I continue to pay class 2 contributions in the UK. I've been a buraliste for over three years now and I'm still in the process of getting a dégrêvement from the RSI so I no-longer pay the pension part of my charges sociales - as a buraliste I have to contribute to our own specific retirement scheme so I can't be forced to contribute to a second one. Easier said than done, I'm having a real fight with the RSI to set this up and claim back three years contributions...!

Yes I am worried. We shall need a carte de sejour and we did not have enough income on state pension to qualify previously so no doubt will not in the future. We would need to register for private health cover too = astronomic. At the same time their will be hundreds of ex pat homes for sale at the smane time. Nightmare scenario.

Andrew : my understanding was the CIPAV would officially be unable to cover its financial obligations by mid-2017 ! You can forget your French pension if you remain an independent :-/

I would have thought the most likely position in the event of Brexit would be that one way or another existing rights of residence would be preserved both in the UK and in Europe. Even the extreme eurosceptics (let alone the practical civil servants) know that trade, and good relations, with Europe would remain vital. There are many more Europeans in the UK than vice versa and, in London as an example, not only does the City as a financial centre need French/German/Dutch/Spanish etc banks but most London bars, restaurants and hotels would find it impossible to operate without non UK (often eastern European) labour.

Even if existing rights (including healthcare under the S1 for retired people) are preserved,It is certainly possible that UK state pensions might be frozen and clearly the position for UK people with second homes and a plan to move to France in the future might be very different.

There will also be complex issues for many businesses because of the right of establishment under EU law. Again one might guess that existing businesses would continue or that there would be a transitional period.

The least likely outcome is that in some weird way we (by which I mean UK nationals) would be "thrown out", not least because in overall terms we are an economic benefit to France.

Having said that, I, and I imagine most SFN members, very much hope the referendum will be in favour of staying in the EU.