With Britain’s exit from the European Union due to be completed in less than a year, British people living in Europe understandably have a lot of questions. Whether you’re working with a South of France surveyor to purchase a home in the region, or have been a French homeowner for some time, Brexit is likely to be a source of great concern for you.

When the UK went to the polls in 2016 and took the decision to cease its membership of the European Union, it thrust the country into a period of uncertainty from which it still has not emerged. One of the biggest question marks hanging over the negotiations relates to the rights of EU citizens presently living in the UK and likewise, those of British citizens living abroad.



With that in mind, the British Embassy in Paris held a live Q&A on its Facebook page, in March, with the intention of trying to allay some of these fears (questions have been paraphrased for clarity).


What does the UK government mean when it says British citizens living abroad will be able to live ‘broadly as before’ after Brexit?

“We have been very clear that not everything is sorted and the issue of onward movement that you raise is a key part of that – and something we have been advocating since the start of these discussions. It is encouraging that the European Parliament agrees with us on this point, but we need the Commission and the other EU Member States including France to do so too. We’ll keep fighting for this in the coming negotiations.”


Will the “Double Tax Treaty” between Britain and France stay in place?

“The short answer is yes. The UK’s exit from the EU won’t change existing tax arrangements – the UK has a double taxation agreement with all EU Member States.”


Will there be any facility post-Brexit provided by the French government to simplify or fast track those British citizens who are eligible to apply for French citizenship?

“We have not heard of plans for a fast-track citizenship process in France. But we are talking to the French Government about the system they will put in place to provide for the rights guaranteed under the Withdrawal Agreement. As we have in the UK, we are urging them to include British nationals in the consultation process on that system – and to keep it as light touch as possible. As soon as they confirm how they will be dealing with this we will share the information.”


Should British persons who own property in France be applying for a carte de séjour? Will it be mandatory to have one after Brexit?

“You have the right to a carte de séjour as a British national but are not required to. We are talking to the French Government about the process they will put in place once we leave the EU, as we have in the UK – that will also cover your questions on family, etc. As you may know some people are choosing to apply for a carte de séjour now as a means to prove their permanent residency in France ahead of Brexit.”


“You have the right to a carte de séjour as a British national, but it is not obligatory at present. In the meantime, it does make sense to get your paperwork in order to speed things up in due course.”


Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are still a few hard and fast facts around as to what the post-Brexit landscape will look like for expats who own property in the South of France. However, it seems that foundations are in place to assist you with various applications, if they become necessary.

If you are looking for a South of France surveyor to help you find your own property in this wonderful part of the world then Charles Mackintosh has the passion and experience you need.


Please get in touch today.