BREXIT – Latest Update
Expat Partners has been closely following the developments of Brexit, as it has a very direct impact on our numerous British clients. On Saturday October 19th, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to hold a vote with regards to his newly proposed Brexit deal. However, the Members of Parliament voted in favor of an amendment that does not authorize Brexit to occur until all related legislation has been voted into place. This effectively activated the Benn Act which requires the Prime Minister to seek an extension of Brexit for three months until January 31 2020.
In response, PM Johnson sent a letter to the EU on Saturday night requesting a 3-month extension – but did not sign it. He sent a second letter, which he signed, stating that the extension of Brexit is not in the interest of the UK or the EU and he continued to advocate for a deal to be voted before October 31st 2019.
In concrete terms, for our clients, we do not yet have clarity, but the image is getting clearer: this turn of events make it seems more likely that there will eventually be a deal (and that there will be extensions until the deal is agreed upon by all parties). This turn of events also make it less likely that Brexit will actually occur on October 31st, despite PM Johnson’s protestations. Thus, assuming the EU will accept the three-month extension, British nationals residing in France will continue to be treated as EU nationals until at least January 31st 2020.
In the meantime, we are advising all our British clients to ensure that they have a valid form of health insurance in France. When Brexit does occur, British nationals will need to have health coverage that is recognized by the French administration. Holding a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not sufficient. We recommend to our clients to sign up for French public healthcare (CPAM) in anticipation of an eventual Brexit occurring.
British nationals should also register their presence in France on the French website dedicated to this purpose: https://contacts-demarches.interieur.gouv.fr/brexit/brexit-residence-permit-application/