Brexit forcing expats to look at switching passports

Brexit forcing expats to look at switching passports


The vote to leave Europe has caused uncertainty for some Britons abroad and even a rethink about keeping their British passports.

Craig McGinty, who has been living in the Dordogne, south west France, since 2009, believes that the “vast majority” of British people in France who voted will have backed Remain.

Mr McGinty, who runs a website aimed at English speakers in France called This French Life, said: “I think many people are accepting of it, although they face a long period of uncertainty.

“Some people are looking at securing passports from other EU countries, others have looked into the rules and regulations behind securing French citizenship.

“Financially, many British people have an income source in sterling, be that a pension or employment, so they have seen an 8% fall in their spending power, and (Bank of England governor) Mark Carney’s speech this afternoon points to sterling getting weaker.

“Those British people coming on holiday to France are set to have a lot less euros to spend, forcing them to eat ‘jambon beurre’, a way of saying simple meals with an eye on the cost.”

The Foreign Office advice is that there are no immediate changes for Britons travelling or living within the EU. They still have the right to work in all EU countries, to travel in the normal way, to use their UK passports and other documentation and to their pensions and healthcare.

But Brexit has triggered uncertainty for many Brits abroad, according to Catharine Higginson, who has been living in France for 13 years.

She said that her website – – has had numerous contacts from people who are thinking of trading in their British passports for a French one.

Ms Higginson, who moved from Dorking, Surrey, to live in Dax, Landes, described Brexit as “an absolute catastrophe on so many levels – economically, financially and on a personal level.”

She said: “For lots and lots of people it is going to lead to a massive upswing in racism and xenophobia. It is going to hit our retired expats in terms of their pension income – even losing maybe £100 will impact their standard of living.

“They are already struggling . It is bad news.”

Ms Higginson said her reaction is “very much of sadness” because she and her family are now immersed in the French system and community but the vote has been “very, very divisive and is also making a lot of people feel very uncertain”

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4 Comments on "Brexit forcing expats to look at switching passports"

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Jul 1, 2016 2:03 pm

Good luck to them. Brexit will survive every problem thrown at it.

Jul 1, 2016 2:08 pm

These people need a re-education. They need to know that this Abrexit does not mean you stop being an European.

Jul 1, 2016 2:12 pm

They really have no idea of the implications of what their actions are. The EU is falling apart and very soon half of the bloc will be fleeing and then they will find themselves in hot water wondering if they made the right decision.

Jul 1, 2016 2:22 pm

They can do as they wish whilst the nation chose to Brexit. There are issues with this at all, we should all calm down.