Property, Brexit, travel and events
Britain is on course to leave the EU at 11pm on 29 March 2019. This will be followed by a transition period lasting until midnight on 31 December 2020. In principle, the rights of British nationals who are legally resident in France by this cut-off date will be protected under EU law and allowed to stay indefinitely as will their dependent families. This is subject to a final deal being struck between the two sides.
As we go to press, both EU and UK negotiators are insisting there is still time to strike a deal by October and ratify it before the UK leaves the European Union next March. However, the two sides have yet to agree how trade will work post-brexit and preparations are being ramped up in the UK for a no-deal scenario, including food stockpiling.
MPS on the cross-party Brexit select committee have called on France and other EU countries to make a public commitment to protect the rights of British nationals living in the bloc in the event of a no-deal Brexit. “Whatever happens with the negotiations, we urge all governments to make it clear to all EU citizens who have made somewhere else their home, that they can stay,” said Labour MP and committee chair Hilary Benn.
The EU has ruled out allowing the UK to collect customs duties on the bloc’s behalf. Theresa May had proposed the strategy as a way of enabling the UK to enjoy both frictionless trade and the freedom to set its own tariffs on goods destined purely for the British market. However, the EU’S chief negotiator Michel Barnier rejected the plan, saying the EU wanted “control of its money, law and borders” just like the UK.
Mrs May’s customs plan, hammered out at Chequers, was also deeply unpopular with hardline Eurosceptics. David Davis resigned as Brexit Secretary, saying the UK was giving away too much and too easily. Hours later Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned, saying the plans amounted to a “semiBrexit”. Dominic Raab has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.
Vote Leave, the official Brexit campaign fronted by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, has been fined £61,000 and reported to police after the Electoral Commission found evidence it had breached its spending limits by coordinating with another campaign group.