Returning to the UK

I recall a UK born acquaintance (now departed) who after over 10 years spent in the ‘Colonies’ told me that people in his position, (ie left for Aus, NZ S.A. etc) with no UK tax liability faced some kind of UK financial liability AND was ‘struck’ off the NHS after 10 years away? The latter would not apply to those in the EU with an SI of course…

Maybe not the case for those Brits returning from the EU…but worth investigating.

I can’t imagine what this might be. I returned to the UK in January after nearly 12 years in France. I didn’t have an S1 and was fully immersed in the French system for health, tax etc. I registered with a doctor and dentist without incident, exchanged my French driving licence for a UK one and no one has asked me for any extra tax.

As Poppy says I have not paid NI whilst away but there is no requirement to do so unless you chose to.

There used to be all kinds of special rules for expats on the gravy train in the colonies …

I think you need 6 months in the Uk before you can claim benefits as they think you are there short term before going abroad again.

I’ve been living here 14 years but wouldn’t qualify with the minimum earnings , but can’t see us been kicked out. But I’m ready for a change as bored with living in the 1970’s with lack of life here.

Not wishing to question your motives but you’d prefer not being able to go out all day without locking your doors/windows and coming back to find your house ransacked and all your prized possessions gone?
That’s how I remember 1970s Britain. Its certainly not like that now.


One of the most interesting things about the 1970s is that the tabloid/murdoch media have succeeded in disguising what it was really like almost completely: it was, in fact, the decade in which people in the UK were happiest! (Before Thatcher came along and ruined the country of course - which is one reason we’re here in France.)

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France does of course have towns that are buzzin’ and full of life. But, you can’t live there on a 1970s income.
Likewise the UK. You can live in a rural village outside of the commuter belt and the second-home areas where nothing has changed in the last 50 years, or you can live in a small town or you can live in a big city. Cost of living varies accordingly.
I’ve always thought the “stuck in the 70s” complaint was a rural/urban issue. It’s usually made by folk who moved from suburban UK to the depths of rural France for a bigger house and a cheaper lifestyle. If they’d moved to a French city it wouldn’t have been an issue whereas if they’d moved to the back end of nowhere in the UK it would have been exactly the same issue. So I don’t think it actually is a France vs UK thing. I suppose it just seems that way because the ratio of rural to urban in France is so much higher.


I know folk who retired within UK in the late 1960’s and moved to a place in Norfolk, by the sea, where they had spent many happy holidays.

However, being on holiday was one thing and living there permanently was a very different thing… as they found out.

Within 2 years they had resold and moved back to their “roots”… (of course, buying and selling within UK was fairly easy in those days).

Likewise here in France, many French city folk think retirement to the countryside will be delightful… but it does not always work out…

Yes - it’s often a case of not comparing like with like. I’ve come across several Brits that have given crime in the UK as a reason for moving here - but where we lived in the UK - rural Northumberland - we actually never locked our doors - not even out car - unless we were going away overnight. Similarly here in France.
The Northumberland Gazette was once so desperate for news it’s front page story was ‘near miss on Alnmouth Road’ - they might just as well have said ‘almost some actual news in Alnwick today.’


Sounds like my daily read of La Montagne ! :wink: