I contacted my MP’s, Caroline Dinenage, office regarding Brexit and my worries about moving to France. Her office told me that someone in Caroline’s London office, Lucy Burton, was dealing with these enquiries and they’d get her to give me a call. I went off to do other things expecting a long wait when almost immediately she called me! I didn’t expect that.
Lucy was incredibly understanding of the issues we are faced with and made it clear, as expected, that we couldn’t be certain of anything at the moment. However she was able to give responses which were helpful to the following topics, which I can share with you here.
When Article 50 Will Be Invoked
Lucy said that Article 50 needs to be invoked by March next year. Theresa May has stated that she wants a clear understanding of the issues before she begins the negotiation, so Article 50 will probably not be triggered until early next year in order to ensure that the governement has an understanding of the most pertinent issues prior to its commencement. Forewarned is forearmed after all.
As we are moving in August Lucy was clear too that between now and September the political community was on Summer recess so, despite Mrs May having appointed her cabinet now, there wouldn’t be any further action during that time period.
What Would Be The Position Of Those British Citizens Who Live In Other Parts Of Europe?
Lucy couldn’t be certain of people’s ability to remain in their current home. However Mrs May had not given a guarantee that other EU members could remain here as this would be unwise before similar assurances were given on behalf of British citizens abroad.
I felt that this was the case, as I’m sure you have too, but it was good to hear that this was the reason for Mrs May’s stance.
If We Moved Before Artcile 50 Is Invoked Would This make Our Position To Remain In France Stronger?
Lucy felt, but could not guarantee, that this would be the case. We discussed Angela Merkel’s statement that, prior to the triggering of Article 50 and even throughout the process, Britan would maintain all of the rights (those citizens living abroad for example) and all of the responsibilities (EU citizens living here). This statement would appear to support the ability to maintain acquired rights, particularly if moving prior to Article 50 (my words, not Lucy’s).
What About My Irish Citizenship?
When I first explained that I had Irish citizenship Lucy confidently said that I would maintain all of my rights as an EU citizen.
However I queried whether this would extend to the current reciprocal relationship in terms of the social system, for example health care, when I haven’t actually paid any money into the Irish system this gave her some pause.
My Irish citizenship comes from my mother, born in Ireland, and I have never lived there. So it would seem that this may be an area of difficulty.
Lucy was unsure what the implications for this would mean and is going to get back to me about it. I’ll keep you updated.