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British expats dealt major blow as court refuses to change ‘Brexit punishment’ rules


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Expats living in France were dealt with a major blow after an amendment to visa rules was rejected.

France’s Constitutional Council yesterday rejected an amendment to the immigration bill which would have permitted British expats to stay in the country for longer than 90 days without the need for a visa.

If it had passed, the amendment would have allowed British expats to stay in the country for longer than 90 days without the need for a visa.

The change would have allowed long-stay visas to be automatically issued to British nationals who own a second home in France.

\u200bPresident Macron is under fire for shifting to the right on immigration

President Macron is under fire for shifting to the right on immigration


Following the ruling, all Britons including homeowners will only be able to stay for 90 days out of every 180 days without a visa.

Anyone who wants to stay for a longer period of time will have to apply for a temporary long-stay visa.

The decision will come as a major blow for the approximately 86,000 Britons who own second homes in France, as the ruling final due to the lack of right to appeal against France’s Constitutional Court.

According to the Office of National Statistics, there were an estimated 152,900 Britons living in France in 2017.


\u200bFrance's Constitutional Court rejected the amendment

France’s Constitutional Court rejected the amendment


The amendment had successfully passed through the two houses of France’s senate. However, it was rejected after the Constitutional Council ruled it ‘unconstitutional’.

Director at tax specialists Blevins Franks Jason Porter, told The Telegraph: “The element [to the immigration bill] for UK second home owners was always going to be rejected as it was not treating everyone equally as it does not apply for the other 61 countries eligible for visa entry into France.”

Senator Martine Berthet had tabled the motion to the French government. Berthet is the senator for Savoie region which includes a the Alps region and multiple ski resorts popular with British tourists and expats.

She argued that pushing British citizens from investing in France’s local economies would further add to the worsening problem of empty properties in tourist hotspots.

Berthet has previously said British second home owners feel they have been punished by Brexit due to the visa rule.

It comes as President Emmanuel Macron is under fire for shifting to the right to counter the rise of populist Marine Le Pen.

Raphaël Glucksmann, 44, a centre-left and pro-European politician, has already launched his election bid under his party Place Publique.

President Macron’s immigration and pension reforms have alienated liberal voters who are looking for an alternative on the left.

Some of Macron’s former supporters are calling for an endorsement of Glucksmann, who shares many values with the French president, such as greater EU integration and aid for Ukraine.

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Written by: radioroxi

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