How has Brexit impacted the British expat community in France? Does life remain the same as it has always been, or have things changed, post-Brexit? How many are planning to sell property in France online and move back to Britain? Let’s investigate!
There are officially over 153,000 British expats living in France, although the real numbers are believed to be a lot higher than that. Most British expats live in the Dordogne region of southwestern France, which is often referred to “Dordogneshire” because of the sheer number of Britons who live here.
Also very popular is the region of Périgord. Paris is home to about 10,000 Britons. There are over 6,000 Brits living in the region of Charente in western France, while 4,500 reside at Haute-Vienne, close to Dordogne. There are a number of expats residing in the region of Côte d’Armor in northern Brittany and Yvelines, which is not far from Paris.
There is a myth going around that most of the British expats in France are retirees. That’s not true at all. There are many Britons with young families living in France who lead an active working life here. Indeed, a majority of the expats here work for a living.
There are about 55,000 Britons of the age group of 25 to 54 living in France, while there are 70,000 that are aged 55 and above. The number of retirees or those that depend on pension is estimated to be 22.5 percent of the expat community in all.
How rich are the Britons living in France? Well, most expats are reasonably well off, but they struggle with most of the issues with ordinary Britons back home deal with on a daily basis. Finding quality work still remains the no. 1 concern for most, as does finding quality education for the kids at an affordable cost.
Healthcare is another major issue of concern. Healthcare in France is certainly cheaper than what’s available elsewhere in Europe, but there is a concern among some expats that Brexit might take away their right to cheap healthcare coverage here in France.
The fall in the value of the pound post-Brexit has hurt many who are dependent on a British pension. This has certainly reduced some of their buying power. Yet, the desire to buy property in France remains the same as it has always been among the Britons here. Brexit doesn’t seem to have changed that by much.
Most expats living in France still very much invested in Britain and have family, property and business there. They remain passionate about Britain despite living in France for a number of years.
As Christopher Chantrey, chairman of the British Community Committee of France told a UK parliamentary committee, “We are British citizens. We are proud to be British and we want to continue to be British until the end of our lives.”
The views on Brexit are deeply divided. But it should surprise no one that many expats voted in the favour of Brexit, as their political sentiments remain pretty much the same as the rest of the British public.