Brexit will leave 2 million Britons in legal limbo abroad

Interesting article on the fall out for 2 million Britons in the event of Brexit

except it is just more project fear from the Guardian..there are 2.3 million Eu residents in the Uk a reciprocal agreement will be quickly reached ..The french government doesn't want 400,000 unemployed returning to France ...

If there is a vote for Brexit, I do not believe that there will be long and protracted negotiations. There has a been a suggestion recently, that once article 50 is triggered, the rest of the EU will want Brexit implemented as soon as possible and certainly within the 2 years. This is because there will be another crisis looming (Greece) and also the necessity of sending a message to other prospective leavers.

The easiest thing to agree on is to declare all EU treaties and directives involving the UK to be null and void from x date and leave it up to individual countries to legislate on what to do about UK citizens in EU and EU citizens in UK.

My prediction is that the only countries in a hurry will be the UK and Germany. The French won't react until the first French expats start arriving back in France, except they might instruct the UK to move the border back to Dover. As for Spain, they don't even have a government.

However, 2 years after a Brexit vote, the UK will be outside the EU in trade terms and have to start from scratch.

It's the Graudian!!! Testimony from only two legal "experts"!

The scaremongering continues - and probably will do so until June 22nd! Let's put the future of the UK first and, if we are eligible to do so, vote to LEAVE. It's the sensible option!

the reason most trade deals take so long is the need to harmonise standards.This will not be the case with UK/EU negotiations as all the standards are already in place .

We're with C.Brian in this household on this one...this vote is too important to just act in one's own interest...we very strongly feel the UK is better out of EU, and all the scaremongering input is making us more determined, if anything, to ensure we vote...As to Barack Obama's interference...discraceful!

I find it interesting that the Guardian article describes the negotions about the rights of expats to be "a complex and daunting task". Surely such a task would only be as complex as those undertaking it care to make it. Would not the simplest thing be simply to agree that the rights of all expats thus affected (be they British, French , or Spanish) simply remain as they are at the time of the official exit from the EU of the UK. In this way, no existing expat (of any nationality) would be any worse off than if Brexit had not happened. To me this seems to be a fairly logical and simple answer to the situation, and I wonder why politicians seem to delight so much in making fairly simple things appear so complex. After all, I believe that the concept of 'Grandfather's rights' is well known and understood right across the EU.

Hear Hear John. Quite correct.

The reason that the Canada / EU trade deal has taken so long to arrange has been the need for Canadian industry and commerce to adjust to the required EU standards. Such changes to manufacturing methods and standards take years to implement, and trade deals are always conditional upon them having already taken place before the deal can be signed off. As you say, industry and commerce in the UK already complies with all the relevant EU rules and regulations, and so there is no reason at all why a trade deal between post Brexit UK and the EU should take anywhere near as long as the deal with Canada. Indeed there is no real reason why such a deal could not be completed within the minimum two year notice period that is required to leave the EU.

Yes, I agree entirely. This referendum is no place for self interest when the future of the very existence of our country as an independent sovereign nation is at stake. Those who are thinking of voting to 'Remain' need to understand that they will not be voting to maintain the status quo, but rather that they will be voting to continue towards the creation of one country of 'Europe United'.

Recent revelations that 1. Germany wishes to move towards the creation of a single European Army (something that they wanted to keep secret until after June 23rd), 2. Brussels wants to take over responsibility of many aspects of policing and the judicial system, 3. Last year's 'EU Five Presidents Report' sets out the way to ever closer financial and economic union with ever more control by the ECB over banking and financial matters, and 4. That Brussels wants the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) set up in such a way that it can call for unlimited from funding from member states whilst being completely autonomous as to how the money is used, are surely all very strong indicators that the overall goal of "Ever Closer Union" has certainly not gone away, but is still being very actively worked towards by stealthy methods.

Those that vote 'Remain' will be voting for the end of the United Kingdom as an independent sovereign country.

I will vote LEAVE for the benefit of my children and grandchildren. The comparitively minor inconveniences that I may personally experience as a result of Brexit are a price that I am willing to pay for the benefit of my country being able to continue to exist as an independent sovereign nation.

Would not the simplest thing be simply to agree that the rights of all expats thus affected (be they British, French , or Spanish) simply remain as they are at the time of the official exit from the EU of the UK.

I agree it's sensible.

But if it came to it, don't you think the kippers would seek to expel those they didn't approve of (be they Romanian, Baltic, anybody with a criminal conviction...). Or Marine make a fuss about subsidising our children's education, our healthcare, finding some particularly egregious example, and then exceptions start to be negotiated and then who knows what and how long, with, in the meanwhile, each local officer using their own opinion as a regulation.

I worked in France for 3 years and qualify for a French pension. It's not a massive amount but every little helps. I hope post-Brexit the French don't decide to simply cancel my pension. I need it. If they do, perhaps I can unilaterally decide not to continue with my mortgage payments to a Spanish bank (Santander). It's all very unsettling.

Such an eventuality is highly unlikely as it would be illegal under French Law. During those 3 years, you acquired those pension rights under the general provisions of French Law, in exactly the same way as any Frenchman would. So if the French Gov't took measures to cancel your pension, those same measures would also be able to be used to cancel the pensions of French people. Can you imagine the reaction of the French Trade Unions --- every road blocked by tractors and trucks in an instant !!! Don't worry about it. Such a thing is never going to happen as it would cause another revolution if anyone ever tried it.

That's reassuring. We are coming to Brittany in mid-July (after the vote) for our annual vacation. I wouldn't want the narrow lanes blocked by les tracteurs :-)

I think that an important thing to remember is that there are more EU citizens living in the UK than there are British expats in the EU. Therefore it is going to be reciprocal arrangements that protect both categories of people. There is no way that people would be expelled from the UK simply because of their race of nationality. That would be racist discrimination, and we have laws against that sort of thing. As for those with criminal convictions, well there is a school of thought that says that such people should never have been admitted to the UK in the first place and that perhaps they should be removed. This is not an unknown stance to take in today's world, and is certainly one which has been in force in the USA for many years without undue complaint on the world stage. I could not have obtained my own 10 year visa for the USA if I had criminal convictions, and were I to commit a criminal offence whilst in the USA, then quite apart from any other penalty imposed, I would also be deported with my visa having been cancelled. Seems like a fairly reasonable position to take to me.

Incidentally, I wonder how Marine Le Pen, or anyone else for that matter, could make a fuss about our children's education being subsidised, or our healthcare, when the truth of the matter is that there is no such subsidy which takes place. We pay our taxes here just like any other resident of France, and thus are entitled to use public services just as much as anyone else. Also, please don't forget that any of us who have been resident here for 5 years or more are entitled to apply for a Permanent Residency Card, not under the provisions of any EU law, but under the provisions of French Law.

As for the 'local interpretation' of rules and regulations, that is something that exists now anyway, and it will no doubt continue whether or not Brexit takes place. The answer to it is to learn French, learn the rules, and then be politely insistent whilst using the impersonal and more diplomatic 'One' (On) form of speach. At the end of the day one can always enlist the assistance of Embassy staff to resolve such difficulties. To a certain extent the 'local interpretation' problem is just one of those inherent things about France -- just like the weather, the wine, and the cheese. One pays one's money and one makes one's choice about 'France' on that score.

I am not sure on what basis any decision can be made as from both sides there is little concrete evidence one way or another. Just hype, scaremongering ,spin and attempts to further individual profiles.

I am European by heritage and will remain so , who's silly idea was a referendum , anyway is this not a decision for 'the grown up's'?

re: " who's silly idea was a referendum"

Mr Cameron to fix problems within his own party, it is thought. I agree it's a silly idea. Support for EU within UK waxes and wanes. Even if the vote goes to Remain this time, the dissenters will still complain but so what? Every EU country has its dissenters.

In the worst case, Mr Cameron could be responsible not only for UK leaving EU but also the breakup of the UK and not just Scotland. Remote regions of England benefit from EU support unlike the South East, so it's always possible that areas like Northumbria and Yorshire could choose to join Scotland. He could be responsible for turning back time to before the reign of Kind Edgar, the first king of a united England 973 AD.

I think that the only reason that Mr Cameron promised a referendum was in order to win the last general election, and that he thought that the result would be a walkover for the Remain side. Let's face it, whatever the result of his 'Renegotiation' turned out to be, we all knew that he would dress it up as a victory and then recommend 'Remain'. I'm sure that the fact that he now has a serious fight on his hands with the 'Leave' movement (supported by half of his own party) has come as a nasty surprise to him.

However, surely the main principle in all this is that the people of any particular place should be able to choose from where they are governed, and by whom. If the majority of people in any part of the UK wish to leave the UK and create their own government, should they not be able to do so ?

This referendum is about the people being able to choose whether they wish to be governed in whole or in part from Brussels. The referendum is a means by which to enable a free and democratic choice to be made, and surely therefore should not be regarded as being 'silly'. Is this not what democracy is all about, being able to freely make a choice rather than being dictated to ?

Mr Cameron made a similar miscalculation over the Scottish referendum. There he was in the position of making extra promises to Scots at the last minute, whereas I doubt he can offer similar incentives this time.

He didn't expect to get a majority in the election and could have blamed the Lib-Dems for blocking a referendum.

A key factor is the Labour party. They are so bound up with in-fighting and opposition to Corbyn that they seem lukewarm on the EU, similar to abstaining.

What is interesting is that Germany is considering adopting Mr Cameron's demand for ban on in-work benefits for EU migrants but for 5 years, not Cameron's 4.

Don't forget to register online then so that you can vote. will email the voting form to you.

I don't think the voting form is e-mailed to you. You can have a postal vote or a proxy vote but certainly not an electronic vote as such.