Stay or go?
The date for the EU referendum now set for 23 June 2016 means that Britain will soon be deciding whether or not it will withdraw from the European Union; a decision that will affect the lives of British expats living in France and leaves those considering a move overseas up in the air.
Yet the uneasiness posed by this ‘in or out’ proposal may, in all likelihood, be of little consequence and without definitive answers to the implications of a so-called Brexit, we can only speculate on what lies ahead.
A main concern for house-hunters is their right to purchase property in France, yet regardless of the referendum’s result, individual property rights must still be respected and, thanks to bilateral tax agreements between the UK and other European countries, a Brexit would have little impact on tax payments, so long as the UK remains part of the European Economic Area (EEA).
Healthcare benefits have also made headlines as a cause for concern, and whether the NHS would still pay for retired British expats’ healthcare via the S1 form is unclear. However, removing healthcare benefits for working expats in France is unlikely, not least because the UK could retaliate with a similar measure for those Europeans living in the UK.