Crash out and it will be visas for France

Although The Prime Minister urges our European colleagues to show “courage, trust and leadership“, it appears irony is beyond her.

The French are not known for irony either and, whilst it seems to have been given little publicity, they have now outlined their plans for Brexit in the absence of any negotiated deal.

It is not good news.

This would be French emergency legislation which sets out the specific problems for which new French laws would be required.

Let us not forget that France is an economy which is the same size as the UK. Brexiteers may try to bully Ireland – both North and South – but France is our size  – and, under Macron, is firmly in favour of the European project. France is part of the European mainland – it is not at the extremities of Europe like both Ireland and Britain – and it simply doesn’t ever need to comply with any Brexit fantasies.

So when the UK has left the EU to “control our borders”, we should surely and equally expect the French to control theirs. This possible emergency legislation would do just that.

French “No Deal” legislation says that UK citizens will need a visa to visit France. People wanting to live there permanently will need to provide justification, and this includes family members moving there to reunite with existing UK residents living there…

Quite remarkably…the hostile environment works both ways.

The UK will become a ‘Third Country’, (and as also a country that is not in the European Economic Area) customs and usual border checks will be applicable.

No Deal is likely to involve the reinstatement of veterinary and phytosanitary controls at the borders of the EU for live animals, plants and animal and plant products from the UK, or from other third countries transiting the UK at dedicated border inspection posts. A Labour MEP has pointed out that restoration of phytosanitary checks will include those on wooden pallets. No problem there then.

That is really evidence of what has been called not the sunlit – but the unlit – uplands of Brexit.

France says checks will need to be put in place on the day of withdrawal and the relevant control areas will require emergency legal powers to create them.

This is prospective French legislation – quick and incisive as it can often be in such a large country – overrunning any local problem.

Britain is meanwhile temporarily corralling areas of the M20.

An idea of what it means (in English) for Brits living in France is here.

And the Germans seem to have some sort of similar plan with 4,700 new jobs at Customs, and at least 750 new customs jobs in the Netherlands, according to some reports.

That’s another fine mess… Not Laurel and Hardy, but Cameron and May…

And the British populace are just collateral damage.


  1. Sean Danaher -

    Yes I did see this and it is surprising that it is getting little media attention.

    The likelihood of “no deal” has increased considerably last night. There was no new thinking on the Irish Border and though May was listened to politely the mood remains pessimistic.

    The crux of the matter I think ls from the EU point of view the integrity of the Single Market and the four freedoms are paramount as indeed is the survival of the EU itself.

    “No deal is better than a bad deal” is indeed true for the EU.

    Things do not look good. There is absolutely no sign of the EU blinking over the backstop.

    No deal would be a disaster for the UK and we may well end up there. Hopefully the French will concentrate minds.

  2. Geoff -

    Just to give a perspective from the French side of the Channel. None of the content of the French outline for a no-deal Brexit is news. What they have published is part of an ongoing projet de loi, and it simply outlines the reality of the situation should the UK crash out. It’s not intended to be hostile or punitive, as parts of the UK press are suggesting; it’s the factual basis for the French government seeking emergency powers to avoid the worst scenarios. In fact, France is taking these steps in order to help us – more than can be said for our own government.
    As UK citizens living in France, the British Embassy has been advising us for some time that we will need residency permits to avoid a situation where we’re classed as ‘illegal aliens’ without any legal right to stay, and most people who are sensible and aware now have these or are in the process of
    obtaining them. However there are still plenty of Brits with their heads in the sand about this so at least the negative reporting may make them aware. As to visiting Europe, as things stand at present, in the event of no deal British visitors will by default need a visa to enter Schengen territory.
    Watch out for the march on Westminster this weekend to protest about the shocking and unacceptable fact UK citizens living in the EU27, and EU27 citizens living in the UK, still have no guarantee or even reliable information as what their rights will be post Brexit.

  3. Christine Bergin -

    Saw this on 15th. Nasty thought but not beyond the realms of stupidity with our current shower. Not very clever with computers so hope the link works. theresa-mays-chequers-plan-a-red
    herring to-trick-the-eu-out-of-seeing-what-shes-really-doing/

    1. Peter May -

      Yes, thank you, link works – so does the horrifying but all too credible scenario.

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