What hap­pens next?

Fol­low­ing the UK’s de­ci­sion to leave the EU, we con­sider the pos­si­ble im­pli­ca­tions for those who live or own prop­erty in France

Living France - - Insight -

BUY­ING PROP­ERTY IN FRANCE

It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that Brits vis­ited and bought prop­erty in France long be­fore the UK was part of the EU, and there are no rea­sons to be­lieve that they will no longer be able to do so.

Fur­ther­more, cit­i­zens from non-EU coun­tries in­clud­ing the USA, Aus­tralia, China and Rus­sia buy prop­erty and live in France with­out prob­lems. So there is no rea­son why the same rules won’t ap­ply to Brits. The ex­ist­ing process is the same for Brits buy­ing prop­erty in France as it is for non-EU res­i­dents and the French them­selves.

Bri­tish buy­ers are an im­por­tant el­e­ment of the French prop­erty mar­ket and it is un­likely that France will want to dam­age this by mak­ing it too dif­fi­cult for Brits to buy prop­erty.

LIV­ING IN FRANCE

One of the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of the EU is the right to live and work any­where within the EU with­out hav­ing to ap­ply for per­mis­sion to do so, and for the next two years, or how­ever long the with­drawal ne­go­ti­a­tions last, Brits will con­tinue to be able to move to France.

Fol­low­ing the UK’s exit from the EU, there will be no au­to­matic right to live and work in France. It is pos­si­ble that Bri­tish ex­pats will have to ap­ply for an EU Blue Card – Europe’s an­swer to the US Green Card – or carte de séjour in or­der to live and work in France.

It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that Lon­don is of­ten re­ferred to as France’s sixth city due to the large num­ber of French peo­ple who live there, so this is not a one-way street. It would there­fore seem likely that a bi­lat­eral agree­ment be­tween France and the UK will be reached. If the UK re­mains part of the EEA (Euro­pean Eco­nomic Area), then it will most likely have to ac­cept the prin­ci­ple of free move­ment and there­fore noth­ing will change.

TAX

The UK’s de­ci­sion to leave the EU should have lit­tle ef­fect on the tax a Bri­tish ex­pat in France has to pay. The dou­ble tax treaty be­tween France and the UK is sep­a­rate from EU reg­u­la­tions so should not be af­fected, and if the UK de­cides to re­main part of the EEA then tax treat­ment would not change be­cause the same rules ap­ply to EEA res­i­dents as EU

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