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10 Tips for British people living in France in the run-up to Brexit.

SuperAdmin SuperAdmin le 15 nov. 2018 à 07h20
On the 11th December 2018, MPs are due to vote on the UK Government's Brexit deal with the EU. At the moment nobody knows which way this vote will go and a 'No Deal' Brexit is one possible outcome. Fortunately, there ARE a few things that you CAN do to prepare for a ‘No Deal’ on March 29th of next year. Chances are, if you are planning to live in France permanently, these are things that you have been thinking about doing for a while and putting off. Well, now is the time to buckle down and do them!


1.    Driving licence - After March 2019, if there’s a No Deal, your UK driving licence may no longer be valid by itself when driving in the EU. So you will need to exchange it for a French licence and/or get an International Driving Permit from the UK Post Office.


2.   If you have a UK passport - Check how long you have to run on your current passport and make sure, after March 29th, that your passport is no older than 9 years and 6 months on the day of travel. For example, if you’re planning to travel from the UK to France on 30 March 2019, your passport should have an issue date on or after 1 October 2009. In the event of a No Deal this could be a requirement for UK citizens entering France, so don’t forget to warn friends and family planning a visit!


3.   While we are on the subject of travel, it may not be a good idea to travel to and from the UK around March 2019 - so why not fit in a visit before then, if there is anyone you particularly want to see? And perhaps avoid booking a flight on or just after March 29th, just in case the airplanes are indeed grounded!


4.    Even pets may be affected by a No Deal. Get your pet to the vet and make sure you are up-to-date with French pet paperwork so that you can both travel problem-free after March.


5.  Those French lessons you never got round to doing – now is the time! You might have to have more dealings with the French administration after March 2019 and speaking better French can only be an advantage.


6.     Carte de séjour- The French Ministry of the Interior and the British Embassy both recommend that Brits in France apply for a ‘Carte de séjour’. Yes, it involves paperwork and no doubt a couple of trips to the prefecture, but it may well come in useful. If you have lived in France for 5 years, you can apply for a ‘Carte de séjour permanent’ or to become naturalised French. What’s the harm in setting the wheels in motion now, even if you are unlikely to have finished the process by next March?


7.    If you are self-employed, do make sure you are working legally. Go to, set up as a micro-entrepreneur, start billing and paying your social charges.


8.   If all the above brings you out in a cold sweat, then remember you don’t have to face this on your own. There are plenty of Facebook groups for ex-pats in France where you can find useful information, such as the RIFT (Remain in France Together) Facebook Group. The Facebook group Ladies in Business in France has members who offer ‘Hand-holding Services’ to help with translation and dealing with the French Administration.


9.    No need to start hoarding food, but if you are going to be in the UK soon you may wish to stock up on your marmite, tea-bags and digestive biscuits. Who knows what may happen to the prices of our favourite products, and some of us can get quite grumpy without our tea and marmite in the morning…


10.Finally, Keep Calm and Carry On – no need to panic, but maybe you should try to tick off just a couple of points from your ‘Pre-Brexit To Do List’ to avoid future headaches.


These are my personal tips. Disclaimer! I am neither a lawyer nor a constitutional expert. Hopefully it won't come to all this but, if it does, you may be happy you did some advance preparation. If you would like to read the UK Government's advice on how to prepare for a No Deal Brexit, then go here

If you would like to know more about hosting students in France then go here

2 commentaires

jeu. 29 nov. à 12h08
Hi Lorna, Sounds like you are quite well prepared! Re using a French driving license in the UK in the case of a 'No Deal' Brexit, I have not found any specific advice yet. However, I did see that holders of French driving licenses can apply for a 'permis international' when driving in countries outside the EU. There is more information here: Best wishes, Felicity
Lorna Westcottmer. 28 nov. à 12h31
Driving licence √ Passport √ Carte de Sejour applied for. However, we usually hire a car for our visits by Ryanair to UK and if there is no deal, maybe our French driving is will not be accepted?

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