Stella, as the Brexit thing gets more and more toxic from the British side,and with the possible vote for the much despised Farage andJohnson seen on this side of the Channel as a further and offensive distancing from Europe, it is hardly surprising there is an official cooling down of relationships with the UK and by default almost with those expats living here.
I have been saying for years now that the ‘wait and see’ attitude was a bit complacent, and now the heat is on we must look at the French point of view that the expats are not committed to France in any way - least of all emotionally. I have earlier reported of my own interviews for Nationality and the emphasis on the integration into French society (or lack thereof) being THE major component of the exercise. On this basis alone why should they French give much credence to late applications?
However, and having said that I do not sense any animosity to expats as individuals, and am sure that once the dust settles the essential existing ability of living here will continue, but with adjustments which are inevitable. You will, by definition no longer be EU citizens with the rights and privileges that endows, but that won’t automatically make you an ‘enemy’, but will make you an ‘alien’ - it cannot be otherwise obviously.
I will be very surprised if an offer is not made to expats to take up Nationality on the basis of long-term residency, but only once the UK attitude has been determined.
IF the UK takes the US line which is vehemently anti-Europe then things could and probably will get harder. The same will apply with those foreginers in the UK if they are seen as out-of-step with the country they inhabit. Sorry to say but even on this site I still see evidence that few will really want to become French, and as such will be seen as reluctant at best.
However and again, there are plenty of non-French residents here already (non-EU) so unless there is a massive worsening of relationships between the UK and France - and could it get much worse? then residency rules will apply.
People were buying property in France before the EU Membership, so that won’t change. Medical cover will change and that will be up to those who don’t choose Nationality to cater for themselves. My feeling is that local Insurance overage will rapidly appear at reasonable prices - even basic business practises make that sensible.
So as I say unless Farage and Johnson et al continue with their intent on destroying the EU - and notably France and Germany I don’t think expats here have too much to fear. Unfortunately it IS a pretty big ‘Unless’ isn’t it?