The local - 'It must be made simpler': The huge challenge France faces to register Britons after Brexit

The French parliament has backed a bill that will allow the government to better protect the status of Britons in France in the event of a no-deal, but the lawmaker behind the bill told The Local there are major challenges ahead, not least the fact no one quite knows how many Britons there are in France.

The message has been clear from French lawmakers for quite some time: "we want Britons in France to stay here to live, work or retire after Brexit".

And that's the case even in the event of a no-deal Brexit which the French are hurriedly preparing for, as British PM Theresa May struggles to win enough support in parliament for her deal and time is fast running out.

Last week French lawmakers in the National Assembly voted through a bill that will allow the French government to pass emergency laws to prevent or at least limit the chaos resulting from Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal.

Part of the bill is designed to allow France to act quickly to protect the rights of Britons living in the country and give them time to apply for the appropriate residency permit.

But that doesn't mean it will be easy. Indeed the report by MP Alexandre Holroyd highlights the challenges ahead for French administration.

"It's very clear in our minds that we want to preserve the rights of Britons living here," the MP told The Local. "They all contribute to the economy and play a crucial role in their communities and should be protected."

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