The guideline for knowing what is likely to be agreed, is what is in the best interest of each countries expats, and from this point of view France and the UK are well balanced with several hundred thousand expats French expats in the UK and a similar number of UK expats in France.
Impact of Brexit for UK expats buying in France - what is agreed and what is likely to happen:
- Residency and house purchase - Britons residing in France before the extended cut-off date (31st December 2020) will retain the right to remain in France after full Brexit takes effect or can buy a house in France and relocate. To ensure you are considered a resident, it is important to register with the local authorities and get a “carte de sejour”. After that date, the worst case scenario would be going through the process of non EU nationals with 1 year Carte de Sejour, and if working having to apply for work permits, but you would always have the right to buy a house to use as a holiday home.
- Benefits, Healthcare and pensions – Britons residing in France before the 31st December 2020 cut-off date will retain the right to access existing benefits These are guaranteed for expats who reside in France before the Brexit cut-off date. If you have not yet relocated to France, consider doing so as soon as possible to maximise your time in the country before the Brexit date, and as the transition period is not yet guaranteed, it is best to work towards the original Brexit cut-off of March 2019 rather than December 2020. This does not mean, that missing the date implies not getting these benefits, but the process for getting them will be harder with potentially the same hurdles as getting residency after Brexit.
- Mortgages – Although mortgages will still be available to UK nationals arriving post Brexit, it is likely that the maximum most banks will be prepared to finance will be reduced from typically 80% to 50-70% instead.
- Taxation – There is little likely to change, as bilateral tax treaties already in existence will continue. The UK French double tax treaty ensures people are not taxed twice on the same income. As now each state will continue to change their taxes, and the pressure for higher taxes to reduce government deficits should be offset by the need to attract investors via lower taxes.