Brexit……Almost a year to Brexit Date, what has changed?

So here we are almost a year from the official date that the UK will come of the EU and what do we know, concretely?  I’d love to say lots of things but there are still some major grey areas, in particular for businesses whose obvious concern is access to the single market for trade (free movement of goods, services, money and people).

The UK triggered Article 50 on 29th March 2017 which effectively began the two year exit period to agree the terms of the ‘divorce’ as its lovingly called !  In the past year they have agreed how much the UK will pay the EU, the rights of EU citizens in Europe and EU citizens in the UK during this period and of course the Irish border.  They have also agreed on the ‘transition period’ see below.

Well the optimistic side of me will point some key advancements :


This is the time period directly after the UK officially leaves the EU on 29th March 2019.  This transitional period is a limited timeframe during which the permanent arrangements for the UK-EU relations will kick-in.

good newsSo it has been agreed that the transitional period to help EU citizens organise their paperwork will start from 29th March 2019 and last until 31st December 2020.  This will be getting signed off at the EU summit as I type this no doubt !

It has been agreed that EU citizens arriving in the UK during these two dates will benefit from the same rights and guarantees as those who arrive before Brexit.  The same rule will apply to UK expats in other European countries.  So this is very good news and will allow people moving to France or other European countries to plan their relocation.

The UK will also be able to negotiate and sign off on their own trade agreements during this transition period which will become applicable at the end of the transition period.  This is great for businesses who are unable to plan for Brexit due to complete lack of clarity on what will happen. This adds a degree of certainty, at least for a while longer !

Brexiteers are against this as effectively its like saving that Brexit will not happen for almost two more years

On the Northern Ireland situation is slightly improved in that it will stay in parts of the single market to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.  More work on this very difficult subject is still being negotiated.

Here are a couple of short videos covering Tips & the language test for those that are thinking of starting the process of citizenship in France.

Brexit Practical Prefecture Tips

Brexit Language Test


This is the new term that the UK has given to those who are wishing to live in the UK after Brexit and how to accrue this and where you stand in the timeline can be view here.  There is also a Joint Report where you can see the agreements between the UK and the EU to date.  For the moment it is not known how exactly this settled status will be applied for but the government is suggesting it will be an online form, quick and easy with a small cost.  One would hope this would be the same in all other European countries.  Too early to say yet!

Of course, like anything the EU will be asking for a reciprocal agreement so one can assume that a type of settled status will be requested also for people coming to live in France.


For those people already living in France who are still debating the Citizenship applications, now would be a good time to start in view of the new transition period. You have two options for your citizenship application:

  1. Time in France : 5 years or more
  2. Marriage to a French person : 3 years or more

Which option you go for depends on how long you have been in France, how strong your language skills are along with other factors such as if your paperwork is in order; they do ask for alot of it but its not insurmountable !  Please do contact Tracy Leonetti if this is something you are thinking about.

We will discuss the criteria in the next Serenity Information meeting on 10th April, check it out here.  If you can’t make that, why not contact Tracy Leonetti to discussion your options.

For more information on French Naturalization, contact Tracy Leonetti at

RELOCATING TO FRANCEliving-landing-banner

Thinking of moving to France!  You have the right to buy property and or rent property in France if you are not an EU member. I guess the main concern would be the additional paperwork for visa’s etc.  If you have the dream to move to France then don’t let paperwork worries stop you, just make sure you have all relevant information to hand before you leave. You can start by downloading my Top Ten Tips to France here

If you would like any help and advice on your situation in France concerning your citizenship, health care, currency transfer between the UK and the euro zone or other relocation processes, please send an email to

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