Brexit: “There was a lot of Disappointment” … The French Expatriates are Full of Doubt

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French Expats are worried about their future in the UK after Brexit

UNITED KINGDOM:  Their future status after Brexit is still very uncertain …

  • A summit of European leaders held in Brussels on the 19th and 20th October.

  • The Brexit will naturally be on the agenda.

  • Expatriates demonstrate their choice to return to France.

Until recently, Magali was part of the expat community in the UK. For seventeen years, the French worked in London in the consulting industry before deciding to return to France, once the Brexit was voted in June 2016. “There was a lot of disappointment among expatriates. In London, the atmosphere has really changed, there has been such a break. It was hard to leave, but the fact of not knowing what will happen in the coming years has been a trigger. 

The clock is ticking, but the UK and the European Union do not seem in a hurry to reach an agreement on the Brexit, while the separation is scheduled for late March 2019.  To break the deadlock, “Europeans” are calling for the advancement of the three “priority” issues before discussing the post-Brexit: the financial cost of the break , the consequences of Brexit for Ireland, and … the fate of EU origin expatriates. They are about 3.2 million reside in the UK, at least 300,000 being French.

“I can not imagine the English will show everyone the door”

Of all the possible scenarios, the most extreme for EU expatriates would be: requirement to have a visa and a work permit, with minimized social protection.

“I’m pretty pragmatic, I can not imagine the English will show everyone the door overnight” wants to believe Arnaud de Montille. This entrepreneur, who co-founded the brand of personalised jewellery, “Thanks mom,” has just come back in France after 10 years in England.

Very unexpected conclusions

The Brexit made him the effect of a psychological shock. “We felt at home in London, and suddenly it’s like we were told” you have nothing more to do here ‘, “he says. His company keeps an office in the British capital, but Arnaud de Montille questions. “Once the Brexit be officially recorded, is that we can continue to export our products with the same ease? “. As such, it does not exclude the repatriation of the transactions in Paris, where he opened an office last year, “if things go wrong.”

Like him, many entrepreneurs, especially in financial circles, demonstrate concern for the future. In an article published Wednesday, the boss of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) calls “transitional arrangements” before the end of the year, to avoid eventual economic crisis.

The conclusions of the Brussels summit, expected Friday will therefore be scrutinised very closely. Since the beginning of negotiations, five rounds of negotiations have taken place without the two sides reach a compromise. Will the summit of the 27 EU leaders change anything?

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