On 19 December 2018, the European Commission called on Member States to « accelerate their preparations for all possible scenarios for leaving the United Kingdom » (Doc COM (2018) 890 final, 19 Dec. 2018).
On the French side, the legislator (Act No. 2019-30 of 19 January 2019) has decided to authorise the government to set, inter alia, by means of an ordinance, the regulation of the conditions of entry and residence of United Kingdom nationals in the event of leaving the European Union without an agreement (« no deal »).
The following areas are concerned:
1- right of entry and residence of British nationals in France;
2- paid employment of British nationals in France;
3- recognition of diplomas and professional qualifications;
4- situation of permanent and probationary civil servants of British nationality;
5- application to British nationals legally residing in France of legislation relating to social rights and benefits;
6- control on goods and passengers to and from the United Kingdom and veterinary and phytosanitary control on imports from the United Kingdom;
7- Carrying out road transport operations on French territory, by natural or legal persons established in the United Kingdom.
The government will have to maintain a derogatory regime, or adapt the ordinary law, by ensuring that British nationals « are treated more favourably than third-country nationals or legal persons established in third countries ». It is specified that these favours « will cease to have effect if the United Kingdom does not grant equivalent treatment ».
A priori, bilateral agreements should be concluded, despite the Commission’s explicit reservations on this subject, which considers that « such steps would have the effect of undermining the ratification process[of the Brexit agreement], would in most cases not be compatible with Union law and would risk creating unequal conditions between Member States ».
To be continued!