If the UK votes to leave the EU where does that leave the expats living in France

This is my first post so forgive me if this a topic already beaten to death, but, after Mr Cameron’s speech today I was wondering if anyone had any idea how expats living in France would stand if the UK voted to leave the EU?

Emily, was just reading your later comment and found this one as well. Brain is right but for a start: http://reliefweb.int/ is a real source of informations you might be interested in. Good luck.

Exactly right Norman. We are all only speculating but for good reason. I think a lot of us are fairly certain this will be used as voter bait at the next general election and the right might just kick and shout about too few, too little concession and the referendum will happen. There is a fair to high chance that a referendum, that we know would be 2017 at earliest, might well be 2019/20 in time for the next election and then it would take two years, as we have also been told, to be fully out. So, perhaps sometime between 2019 and 2022 it may happen. Some of us might not be around, that includes me, or so gaga we will not care. However, for plenty of people there is a period of serious contemplation ahead in the event it does happen.

Like you Norman, I read the British press. When it comes to the stage when such papers as the FT and Torygraph are describing deteriorating conditions, express more pro-Boris that George views about the probable triple dip recession then it does not inspire. I am in more or less a one way street having a non-UK family so, as people may have read about Tina Turner yesterday, I would take Swiss nationality and remain here which is not dependent on any of the EU treaties but something far older anyway. However, I am lucky and indeed privileged to have that option. Others are not.

So yes, I believe all of us should be properly and honestly informed either way. I am thinking more for those who wish to keep their electoral rights and believe they should be entitled to take part in a referendum if they would wish to return to the UK in the event of the parting of ways. Mind you, they need to be assured they would be included because the existing legislation gives the voting rights for general elections specifically. I did NOT fill in the electoral register when it was sent to me last, I probably kept it for lighting fires. Having done that I have made a statement that is in line with one or more of Cate's perfectly correct words. I do not live there, I acknowledge that I am not a voter. I would however happily campaign for the right to vote here it the UK stays in, and that each EU citizen be allowed to have the option of full electoral rights in the country they live in or their country of origin. However, not both as some people seem to have suggested in the past.

On the issue of your distaste about certain people, I tend to agree. Perhaps I should go for the Swiss sooner rather than later. I was toying with perhaps waiting to see what Scotland would choose next year but looking at The Scotsman a few days ago saw some xenophobic views that stuck in my craw and a sense of shame made me think again.

Jo, I know I sound like an old fart, and that's because I am, but be very careful about 'loans' they are simply 'debt' under a different name!

If you have a good idea, structure a sensible one-page business plan and try to find an individual (preferably sleeping) partner - and that does not mean your husband but an 'angel' as they are called who will back you on risk terms, and take a percentage of your profits. To be frank if you can't structure something like that with your idea, how will you repay the regular and demanded repayments on a loan? Usually unsecured loans are very difficult to find and very expensive to get - the risk to the Lender is far higher of course, and that is why.

If you have no recognised experience or skills in what you want to do, or just think it is a good idea, then I fear that route will be almost impossible.

Remember above all, that Banks are NOT your friends, and neither are Investors. Nobody will lend you money without expecting a return - unless you have wealthy and generous family?

I am thinking of reprising my business lectures for people considering being SME's as there seems to be a real need for these out there. I did have more than 55 years of working in Marketing and helped many small projects get off the ground. I still have these available on narrated CD? There's a thought. I know, I know this is not the place to mention it, but there you go.

Re. Pole Emploi, yes they are a bad joke, as my wife (French) also found out on our return from contracts in other countries.

Absolutely right Cate, as I said earlier it is time for many Brit and other expats to decide where there future really lies, and what they want from their lives. No-one suggests giving up a culture that gave us Marmite (why can't I find Shredded Wheat here - great for Diabetics!), or watching English TV and films. I left the UK umpteen years ago, and have never felt the slightest inclination to vote there as it just isn't my country any more. I made that decision when I left for Australia in 1968.

I think it is far more difficult to hold both ends of a string and feel secure rather than decide which end suits you best. For me it is and always will be now - France. That is my choice, and sheer laziness and the non-necessity to do anything more than live here and pay my taxes.

Britain now is more of an interesting sideshow, becoming slightly unpleasant with the rising xenophobia there, and the blaming of Europe (notably France) for all their woes. Plus the armchair warriors who weren't even born declaring themselves the saviours of the World is simply distateful.

Now and IF it comes to choice for others then that will be time to decide, but now must surely be a time to consider the options without panicking. We can't change the future but we can at least consider our options according to the different scenarios available.

For those thinking of a 'better' life back in the UK, I recommend reading the statements of Britain's situation in today's British Press.

"but getting on and doing it" is really the key. Ours are finally in the end of their 2Oth, so the "dust" has settled to make space for realities. Looking back all I can say is, what we have imagined came out a little different, but we always have respected that they could develop their elementary talents in kind of stubbornness, so enabling nothing more then stability. As David describes above the trend toward specialization is clearly visible, but it is not as much expected with young professionals than reliability. With a little diplomatic skills then also young professionals grow into the desired job. In practice this went hand in hand with our two as they learned to fly. Both studied in France, not in one of the GE's but without having this burden of paying back for their education at the beginning of their professional carrier.

OK, do you mean children, development aid or any other specific area. I am not an Africanist really, but have stuff on Senegal where I did a bit of work and naturally other bits and pieces. As you might imagine my office is full of books and documents. Anyway, PM me rather than disturb this thread and I'll see what I can do. But be patient, I'm just starting a new contract and have to get used to working for the first time in ages!

I had a look when you put the discussion up. If only I was young and able again...

Oh yes Emily, most of the childhood work can be put in that bracket. However, note that since the second world terminology is obscure, we rarely say third world any longer but talk about development aid. It is another, very much longer subject though, not one that fits in here at all.

Hey Brian, talking of street kids, my son is doing this in April ...........Kinsale to Kolcata

Cameron said the vote would be after the next election. He is doing this in the hope that the many people in the U.K. who don't like European legislation but have no idea how being in Europe helps industry, will vote for him. In order to hold a vote he need to get back in to power with a clear majority. Will this happen? Probably not, so maybe we are all worrying about something that may never happen. I hope so.

Frances what a beautifully uplifting contribution. Yes we all need to keep working to support our friends and family, because we will surely need each other at some point...and Emily, I continued for decades on a variety of employment creation projects, until I decided to become a nurse in 2001, because I felt I had exhausted my self employment options and I also wanted to prove to myself I still had enough grey matter for a degree. I've come full circle with the loss of self employment from the disability. But after going through the 'systeme Française' to try and find employment, I feel my only option is self employment creation again, because the Pole Emploi have written me off.

My feelings about individuals, self employment and operating in this economy is that investment is the key. and not being scared to risk bankruptcy. I was too scared when younger, but now I'd go for any loan available. I have nothing to loose. I'd like to know if I had an unsecured small business loan,here in France, would I risk loosing my jointly owned terrain de loisir if I defaulted?I shall ask over in the business groups. :)

Lucy, we have something similar. My wife is Swiss Italian, her post school education and earliest working life in Francophone parts, then in South America speaking Spanish for several years and finally improving her school English after meeting me and then coming to the UK to live for a few years. So that is her fourth language. Her other Swiss language is weak, but I am bilingual in that, so I am not always sure whether I am an English or German speaker. I know that if I get nervous or confused, wake up too suddenly or have too much to drink, then all of my thoughts and reflexive speech are not English. Then I learned French at school but used it too little, worked in South America (after language lab classes) and consider that my third, so French is my fourth. Both girls speak English and French but the younger understands and increasingly reads Italian and is gradually learning to speak. I am now teaching her German and she has stuck her head in a couple of Spanish books and knows what they are about. What is her mother tongue? As a Swiss (although a dual national with UK) Italian I think, but right now her world is mainly Francophone. For her linguistically the world is a pearl but with what she has how could she define one as the focal one if she wanted a career as a translator. In fact she has said she wants to be a primatologist or archaeologist when she grows up - oofff! The former is rubbish in French unis and the latter brilliant but narrow... At least she has a big wide choice.

Very difficult to work out what counts as "mother tongue". My younger teenager started speaking French when 4 and is totally bi-lingual (though not necessarily coherent in either language!! Although born in Italy - so has the option of Italian citizenship - doesn't speak a word of Italian (yet!). The other has been educated in French from age 6 onwards - and is also totally bi-lingual plus German and Italian to a lower level.

One difficulty as that nobody can or will say what the "rules" are about "mother tongue" and translating! It is quite frustrating!

I am not 100% sure whether the long-term aim is to "be a translator" or whether it is to do something else where there is some translating! I am encouraging a regular look at "bi-lingual job" websites!! :-)

it's a tough market with some very lowly paid jobs unless you're lucky. I've just got out of translating although I did have some very good years but also some pretty crappy ones too ;-)

I graduated from Exeter, then Lancaster and Aix-en-Provence and still have 20k outstanding student loan following me around :-(

Emily, the English situation (Wales imposed far lower limits to tutorial and entrance fees and Scotland has no tutorial fees) is frightening. Four years ago in Swansea with the lower Welsh fees we both had students come to us in tears because toward graduation they sent out job applications and were not even getting replies. One talented young woman sent over 80 and wanted to know why. Personally, I wanted to cry with her, but to be honest tears would have become permanent so I played the grown up. Your time and my own earlier one are history now.

Very true !!. I would worry more about what Holland gas got planned for the near future, than what might NOT happen in 2017 !!.

Lucy and Emily, my wife and I are a bit less than four years out of the UK university world as academics. I spent many years amongst the most privileged and saw the social barriers in education breaking down and more 'ordinary' students gain a lot of ground. The situation at present has turned that around and a number of very sad things have happened. Firstly, even people who go to the top universities are no longer accessing the jobs they did for a while. Once again it is 'who you are and know' as it was before. The economy and reduced number of posts has caused that, so I will not even blame those from privileged backgrounds who are using it to their advantage.

Then the universities are placed in leagues. The competition for Oxbridge and others like Durham, Exeter or Bristol that belong in the upper echelons is fierce. However, the cost of being a student at those is now outrageous. To begin with, to simply get a first degree the £9000 a year tutorial fees go without saying. Then there is accommodation, living costs, some 'pocket money' but let us not forget the university fees. It now commonly sees students with up to £85000 debts, but mid £50k is the norm. Yes, it is said that they have such and such a time to pay back, but to start working with the 'Damocles sword' of debt in uncertain times when getting a good job is getting more and more difficult is a terrible fate. Hence, many serious accounts of supermarket shelf fillers with degrees.

So the next option is to do postgraduate studies. The average MA now costs a small fortune to pay into and then there is all the rest as before. Debts grow. Do research and spend a minimum of three years to do the work and write up the PhD, add some for it being examined, a bit more for probable amendments and in reality it is four years. Do the sums, that is a minimum of eight years from age 18 to 20, getting deeper and deeper in debt with no certainty of ever getting a job, certainly not one that will clear enormous debts. As has been pointed out, it is too soon to know exactly, but it has been predicted that the price of getting higher education could be debts until at least mid-50s and little credit for such things as mortgages, buying a car and so on.

I did all of that in the days when I started with a local authority grant, had a part time and summer job, then got research funding quite easily. My wife did the Swiss equivalent and even adding the years of 'commercial school' for the professional qualification required before university entry, she was never up to her neck in debt. One of my children is already very clear university 'material' but neither of us know how to advise her. She has three countries to choose from at present, perhaps more if she develops her language skills even further. OK, a lot of words, but the bottom line is that in all sincerity I see no significant difference between here or 'there' (wherever that may be) unless the entire situation changes. If the UK leaves the EU then the writing is on the wall and it will get worse, because then mobility will be seriously reduced to what is available there if one studies there, so on balance a study in a European country looks better. Perhaps we should all start looking at degrees taught in English or other languages our children know as a possible alternative or just take the chance and hope it gets better here.

One of my two seems keen at the moment on a career in Translation. As somebody completely bi-lingual the difficulty is establishing where/how it is best to train and work! Not least because in general the "system" (in both UK and France) isn't set up for those few who are in that situation! I am not surprised or complaining about that - I know that it is not a common thing - but it makes it hard to get effective career advice!