Focus on the Fear Expatriates have Over the Uncertainty Caused by Brexit


As much as the British Government is doing all it can to assure French nationals living in the country of their rights being guaranteed even after Brexit, most of them are ready to leave. However, it does not seem like they will all be headed home. Despite the uncertainty and shock caused by the result in the Brexit referendum, a huge number of French nationals estimated to be about 250,000 – 300,000 are planning on staying put. There is a number, especially those who came to the UK in search of a new life, who are ready to pack their bags and return home. However, this move is projected to be traumatic.

Hoping Against Hope

A good number of French expats in the UK, just like their British colleagues based in France are hoping against hope that Brexit does not come about. Several expats are closely monitoring how the negotiations taking place between Brussels and London will fair. Earlier this week, a claim made by the British government that EU citizen rights deal is nearly complete was rubbished by the European Union parliament. There are some French nationals who feel that waiting for the deal to get done is not an option.

Increased Xenophobic Abuse

Plans to leave UK by the French nationals have been linked to the increased xenophobic abuse ever since the Brexit vote. A number of French nationals have noted and some have even experienced racism and insults owing to their nationality. It seems the Brexit vote has made people become racists in a more openly manner. It seems to have empowered the locals to state things that they could not have in the past. Sylvie Bermann, the former French ambassador to the UK, observed in October 2016 that French compatriots witnessed a rise in racial abuse after the referendum. The ambassador revealed to a parliamentary committee that the French viewed Britain in a different light as most of its people had gone from being Londoners to strangers overnight. Bermann stated that this was one of the factors making most French nationals to contemplate leaving the UK for good.

Other Impacts Caused by Brexit

According to Alice Leclerq, a 33-year-old French national who originated from Le Mans, Brexit has not only tarnished the life they enjoyed in the UK but also complicated some bureaucratic tasks. Leclerq claims that getting a new credit card from her bank has been difficult despite her great credit rating. Her friends have also suffered the same fate ever since the referendum. These recent experiences have made most French nationals feel unwelcome in the UK.

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