Brexit – United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union: withdrawal agreement conditions – Press release issued by the Ministry of the Interior (31 Jan. 20)


Following the ratification of the withdrawal agreement concluded between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union will take effect from midnight on 31 January 2020. The withdrawal agreement provides for a transition period until 31 December 2020.

Tonight’s Brexit deadline will therefore have only a limited direct impact:

Entry and residence rights for British nationals and their family members after Brexit

The withdrawal agreement sets out the conditions for British nationals to stay in France. It provides for all the rights British nationals acquired as European nationals to be maintained during the transition period until 31 December 2020.

The withdrawal agreement’s provisions will apply to British nationals and their family members who are already settled in France or settle in France before 31 December 2020.

Under the agreement, British nationals must obtain a “Withdrawal Agreement” residence permit which they will be obliged to hold from 1 July 2021. Prior to that date, they are under no obligation to hold a French residence permit.

To allow British nationals to apply early for their residence permit online, a website, tailored to the withdrawal agreement’s provisions, will be accessible from July 2020.

British nationals and their family members who have already applied for a residence permit on the website set up for a potential no-deal Brexit do not need to reapply online. Their application has been taken into account and will be processed by the prefecture before they are required to hold a permit.

For further information, please visit the government information website.

Police checks at the France-UK border

Checks carried out by French border police at crossing points on the France-UK border will remain unchanged during the transition period until 31 December 2020, both into and out of the Schengen Area.

No extra delay is therefore anticipated and the current smooth flow of travellers will be maintained.

British nationals’ right to vote and stand in municipal and European elections in France

The withdrawal agreement between the European Union and the UK contains no transitional provisions on the electoral rights of British people in member states. On the contrary, the agreement specifies that the clauses of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which provide for European citizens’ right to vote and stand in European and municipal elections, and the acts adopted on the basis of these provisions, are not applicable to the UK during the transition period set out in the agreement.

Moreover, in France the right to vote and stand in elections requires possession of French nationality or, for municipal and European elections, the nationality of a European Union member state.

Consequently, from Saturday 1 February onwards, British nationals will cease to enjoy electoral rights in France which were linked to their European citizenship, and this will trigger their automatic removal from the electoral roll.

British nationals will therefore be unable to vote or be candidates in the municipal and communal elections of 15 and 22 March 2020.

However, British municipal councillors elected before 1 February will remain in office until their term of office expires, as there is no legal provision for their compulsory resignation./.

Translation courtesy of the French Embassy in the UK