Emigrating to France to escape Brexit Britain

Emigrating to France to escape Brexit Britain

Emigrating to France to escape Brexit Britain

For decades, Brits who’d had enough of the changes in the home country headed for France as the nearest destination offering a more satisfying lifestyle.

The thought of living through the worst predictions about Brexit Britain is causing many who voted to remain in the EU to consider leaving before it’s too late. In the good old days, some 20,000 UK citizens sold up, packed up and left for the promised land of wine and cheese just across the English Channel and close enough for a daytrip back to the old country. Some 50 per cent of those who made a ‘permanent’ move headed back to familiarity after a year or two, thanks to a freedom of movement which is about to end.

Leaving nowadays is as much a statement as a personal choice, and will become far more complicated any day now, especially for those with only a state pension and small savings. As a result, preparation for a permanent stay needs to be done carefully, taking into account essential basics such as language and adjustment to the French culture. One reason many Brits want out is the British weather, always a cause for complaint but now undergoing unsettling changes for the worse due to global warming. Potential expats in France need to realise winter is winter, even along the Mediterranean coastline, and includes freezing cold, snow and the use of central heating.

The two most important issues for Brits emigrating to France are the language and the culture. As regards the French language, GCSE and ‘O’ level passes aren’t anywhere near enough, although they’re a start. A serious intent to live in France needs to be accompanied by an even more serious stab at learning the language before arrival. Familiarising yourself with the unique French culture is even more essential, as the French think differently, have different values, different cultural backgrounds and totally different ways of getting things done. One of the worst mistakes made by British expat arrivals is giving advice to a Frenchman!

Wherever you decide to settle, what you won’t get in France is the much-published nostalgia for a rural idyll lifestyle, as the French have thoroughly adapted to the modern world and all it has to offer. Another unacceptable image for life across the Channel is the wine-swilling yuppie regaling his or her French friends with tales of a former life in finance, fashion or any other dream job. Nowadays, the country is firmly rooted in the 21st century and proud to be developing its technology as fast or faster as any other world state. The only way to make relocation to France a success is to go with the French flow and participate in local life, thus adapting to local ways rather than expecting local ways to adapt to your British preferences.

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