BREXIT: For Working Brits in France

SmartSteps recruits bilingual personnel including English mother tongues, many from the UK, for international companies.


As Brits and EU citizens Freedom of Movement (“FOM”) allows us to move to another EU country to live; work as an employee or self-employed; run a business; and also provide services cross-border and to mutual recognition of our professional qualifications.

Many of our candidates are English mother tongue with British nationality and it is with a heavy heart that we must discuss Brexit and its implications for candidates.

From speaking to people, reading the press and going to Embassy information meetings absolutely no one can predict the Brexit outcome! We’ve all heard the sound bites “nothing is agreed until it’s all agreed”, “Brexit means Brexit”, …. The “no deal” threat remains and in this worst case scenario, the UK will crash out on the 29 March 2019 leaving us in limbo!

There are no firm details about what will happen to us if the UK crashes out of the EU. However, prior to 26/03/1995 and the implementation of FOM to get a “Carte de Séjour” we had to have an employment contract.

Below are some helpful links to sites providing some clarity on our situation. For those who have not applied for French or other EU nationality, applying for a carte de séjour is once again a strongly advised near necessity.

Europe needs you! If you are a Brit that has recently acquired French nationality, please look into voting in the European elections in May 2019. Electoral law has changed this year and you have until 31/03/19 to register to vote (and up to 16/5 if you acquire nationality after the 31/3).

Latest news is on this site

23/01/2019 Britons in France will have a year to obtain new residency cards in the event of a no-deal Brexit, France has announced. There will be five ordonnances in the coming weeks about Britons’ residency rights.

16/01/2019 As you will all know, Theresa Mays Brexit plan has been rejected in the Houses of Parliament. There seem to be three likely options cancel Brexit, a People’s Vote, or a delay. Meanwhile, nothing has changed for British workers in France, if you don’t have another EU nationality you are strongly advised to apply for a “carte de séjour“.

04/10/18 The Minister of EU Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau, presented in the Council of Ministers a bill to prepare the hypothesis of the absence of agreement between the EU and London on Brexit, to ward off many legal gaps.

“The bill lists the areas on which we will prepare orders,” she added. “Firstly, the situation of the French residents of the UK returning to France (…), we must ensure that in the event of absence of agreement on March 30, 2019, the British living in France will not find themselves brutally in an irregular situation“.

28/8/18 Edouard Philippe has instructed the government to make contingency plans for no deal Brexit which includes measures facilitating the stay of British citizens currently living in France.


As British European Citizens we presently do not need a Carte de Séjour. However, RIFT, France’s Ministry of Interior and the UK Embassy are all urging British nationals to get a Carte de Séjour as soon as possible. Below are some sites offering more information:

APPLYING FOR FRENCH NATIONALITY is a group on Facebook. There are many members and everyone tries to assist everyone, no matter your personal situation.

RIFT  (also a Facebook group). They raise awareness of the potential effects of Brexit on UK citizens living in the EU & campaign for the preservation of all our current rights. They inform members of the current state of the negotiations on citizens’ rights & regularly publish updates and commentaries. RIFT is pro-Europe and against Brexit & continues the fight for UK to remain in the EU. RIFT is a forum where members support each other through their community.


LAST REVISED 05/02/2019




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