Susan Burgess attended the meeting and has written this comprehensive report.
EMBASSY OUTREACH MEETING PARTHENAY 24 JAN 2019
Olaf Henricson-Bell representing the British Embassy. Counsellor in communication and Politics at
This is the 40th Outreach Meeting that has been held around France.
France 3 TV was there at the beginning filming us coming in and then the people in the theatre and
the speakers on the stage
Mr DORET, Secrétaire général of the Préfecture in Niort and Mr ROBERTS from the Immigration
Service in Niort
Mr Argenton, mayor of Parthenay is expected
O H B will be responding.
withdrawal agreement – no discrimination. Work permits would be expected for people arriving after Brexit rather than people for people already here and already working
Inside the EU you are supposed to have the licence of the place you reside. When UK leaves it will be necessary to have a French licence. Long delay in France; Ministry of Interior have indicated that there will be a new system to deal with the backlog and put a new system into place. If a deal no problem till 2020. If no deal then not clear at present.
School and Uni no discrimination
If go to UK for UNI, pay home fees if a deal, otherwise not clear yet but likely to be higher fees or else
Brits in USA could complain about discrimination against their Brit children having to pay higher
fees than the children of Brits in EU.
Fees start in study year one and go through all the time of the studies. The embassy staff DO understand as many of them are in the same situation; OH has Swedish mother and French wife and children of many staff have been here 30 years.
Mr DORET. Apologies from Prefet Mme David
4000 Brits in 79
79 is 8th in the list of departments according to the number of Brits in the dept
Gerard Phillipe says there is the legal date but there will need to be flexibility for businesses and
5 ordonnances will be taken over the next few weeks.
In two weeks' time at the latest, there will be information released by France.
The next ordonnace will be about the situation of Brits and will explain how the French govt will
address the prob of health, residency etc in the case of NO DEAL.
Until 30 March a CdS is not needed. A passport is the only thing needed. You CAN ask for a CdS (one year or 10 years – if you have been here over 5 years). At Niort there is a specific service to receive British people. 2 people – Mr Roberts is here to explain
Internet rendez-vous deuxsevres.prefecture.gouv.fr
There is a waiting time. There will not be a break on 30 March – not important if the card is issued later
On embassy website you can sign up for newsletters by email.
Not working on Internet.
Appointment in December no news yet - not possible to get an appointment for parents. 5 year card given in 2017 to be renewed in 2022 according to salary.
The internet thing was put up in September. 680 files dealt with between September and Christmas, 240 cards delivered and approximately the same number being made.
The remaining number of files are files where more information is needed and the prefecture is waiting to receive the missing documents from the people concerned.
Break at the end of the year – the 2 people left as their contracts ended on 31/12.
They are recruiting 2 new people – these people will then need training as it is technical – once that
is done then the module on internet will then be open again.
INTERNET RENDEZ VOUS MODULE should be up and running again within the next 2 weeks.
There will be a year IN THE WORST CASE SCENARIO
CdS is free now
French govt was thinking of a small fee after Brexit
UK govt wanted to put a fee but they have now said it will be free. France should reciprocate
– stable regular residence
– health cover
– sufficient income
How does one appeal? What help can the Embassy give if the requirements are insisted upon and a
request is refused?
Interruptions to health care might be fatal
International Health Agreement UK. If House of Lords is OK, it will be law on 3 March 2019
Then has to go through CNAM and CPAM before getting down to individual people
The list on some of the local prefectures for nationality documents is not correct and the file comes
back. Need to use the NIORT list -Mr DORET is happy that for once the Niort list is correct and
that it is the others that are not up to date.
In fact it will be the French government that will need to pass a reciprocal law – not the UK law that
will need to go through CNAM and CPAM.
The prefecture will take the person's details and look into the file. If you have difficulties the
embassy WILL help – send your contact information and details to the embassy in this case.
Man undergoing Chemo they have top up but are worried about what will happen? In a deal scenario it will be rolled over – hopefully in no deal too.
For people who are working won't be a prob as paying into French health system.
Requirements described are the requirements for EU nationals moving to a new country. Non of the
EU countries have really insisted on these conditions. Now people are worried they may not fulfill
Criteria that will be applied for the new cards will be the existing criteria. See ministry of the interior site -however it is more difficult for the French to put something specific in place for Brits as it would need to be the same for the other EU citizens.
In UK it is same for all EU citizens.
What sort of effect will Brexit have on rebates on taxe d'habitation etc?
Someone applied for CdS in 2016, file got lost. They applied again in 2017 had interview in Autumn 2017 not heard anything yet. Situation before new dispositive in September was complicated however they are asking for the man's contact details so they can look into the details.
CdS in the Vendée 3 weeks probably because fewer Brits in the Vendee than in 79
Passports – currently EU passports – what about passports? What will happen and when?
1 UK leaves EU may have implications for visas
2 appearance of UK passports will change – you don't need to change your passport – you change it
when it runs out.
Visas will not be needed for visits of up to 3 months.
Visas for Vietnam etc will remain as before and you will apply as before.
Once UK has left the Shengen rules ask for passport to be 6 months in date – at moment people turn
a blind eye – after Brexit – you will need to be more vigilant about the length of time left to run on
your passport when travelling.
The prefectures DO make a difference between someone who has been living here legally for sometime and an illegal immigrant who has just come in.
Prefectures have a certain degree of autonomy in the way they deal with CdS
Mr ARGENTON mayor of Parthenay
he is elected so he is freer to say what he wants – disappointed about Brexit and regrets what is
happening. Worried about the effects it is having on people in the area. Positive things are brought to
the region by the Brits who live here.
6 months in Jersey 6 months in France Permanent residence – need to have been here 5 years before Brexit. If been here less at time of Brexit then you will be allowed to continue to build up the 5 years. France will probably count 6 months for a year towards residence if you have 4 complete years already.
Jersey is not part of the EU. Not part of free movement.
Is it acceptable to wait until things are clearer (another 6 months or until been here 5 years) and
will it make it easier?
Since the French have officially told people to apply for CdS the embassy have been advising
people to do this. The embassy passes on the official advice. (otherwise we would all get in a mess)
LEGAL SITUATION – should be the same whether you apply now or in 6 months.
BREXIT AND TRADE
Imports – UK/FRANCE moving out of current trade terms – and everything would need to be renegotiated – that's why no-one wants a no deal. There are border checks which are necessary. Even if there IS a deal -
eventually some checks will be done away from the border.
Passports – currently say we are EU citizens. The rights that are accrued do not change - rights are accrued as result of being a British citizen. ALL British citizens will have the same rights . Once the UK leaves we will NOT be EU citizens whatever it says on the passport.
15 year rule – the embassy understands that. UK has never had a system where people abroad had a vote for life. Overseas voting was only introduced in the 80s.
Postal voting system is not perfect.
Under 10% of people abroad who CAN vote actually register to vote.
Health and minimum income
Where is the information about minimum income?
Most people have a CV and a top up. If Brexit who will guarantee the health insurance? If a
pensioner can't pay – will the UK govt pay?
If you have worked all your life in UK then you have contributed in UK and the UK will pay.
In a deal situation S1 continues. In a no deal UK have proposed it and it needs to be reciprocated by
France. Will be in one of the ordonnances.
Brexit gouv Google le gouvernement se prépare au Brexit - Income levels should be there
TAX / DOUBLE TAXATION OHB said he didn't know whether it was bilateral or EU and would
look into it. IN FACT THE NON DOUBLE TAXATION TREATY IS A BILATERAL AGREEMENT SO REMAINS IN PLACE AFTER BREXIT.
Some people who have been here less than 5 years have been given 5 year cards.
Judgement by the person doing the file. There are not fixed thresholds and afterwards there will be
temp cards up to 5 years and then permanent.
What may the conditions be for a CdS after Brexit ? Will we need A2 language for example.
The embassy is NOT expecting language requirements NOR the same requirements as those being
asked of TCN.
Is the French driving licence attestation that will be supplied valid in the UK?
French licences WILL be valid in the UK under any scenario
Will the DVLA accept the attestation? He doesn't know but it IS an official French document.
Question about students paying for courses and housing allowances etc.
Why can a CdS from 23 years ago not simply be renewed? Because it has expired! A valid card
will be exchanged for the new type of card.
Double nationality for a young child? Brexit shouldn't change that. Advice is to do it before the
child is 16 / 18.
Can you change the motive of application for a CdS ? - that would depend on your circumstances.
French woman married to a UK citizen; lived in UK for 28 years, has children born in UK. Worked and has UK pension. Came back to France in 2006 UK nationality? Needs to live in UK. Once the UK has left, the rules for someone moving back and bringing their family with them – you will need to be able to prove that you can financially support those people.
A UK pension would be relevant to your ability to prove that you can support yourself.
There will be a migration policy with the rest of the world. Maybe possibility of a different
migration policy negotiated with the EU.
OHB regrets that the embassy wasn't holding this sort of meeting before brexit.
MR DORET concludes the French didn't chose Brexit but has to live it as far as the administration