British pensioners in the EU

There are apparently about 200,000 British pensioners living in Europe and of course I am one. I am glad to say that at least the Guardian is beginning to report regularly on our plight.

Today’s edition has a good article on the efforts of British MEPs to get the EU to ensure that the 1 million Britons (about a fifth pensioners) do not find themselves in a legal abyss on 30th March.

At the same time campaigning groups like British in Europe is pressing Theresa May to ensure that the British Government continues to reimburse pensioners’ medical bills and to apply increases to state pensions, even if there is a no deal Brexit.

I know three or four other British pensioners locally, including one in his mid-eighties, who are equally anxious about what is going to happen to us in less than two months.

The main concerns are health protection and money (reduced income because of fall in sterling combined with potential increase in taxes once the EU ban on double taxation goes). Most of us are pretty confident that rights of residency will be respected. The French Government has said that we will have a year to get the – not yet finalised – residency permit.

But we must not be blasé about residency. Both the French Interior Minister and the British ambassador have strongly urged people to obtain the current carte de séjour. I applied for mine in July last year, got my interview at the start of January and was told that I should have my carte within two months. Hmmm.

Other Brits in the area applied later than me and are even further down the queue. One still has his head in the sand, and done nothing, but has now agreed to let me help him.