British expats in the French village of Gouarec fear the prospect of a no-deal Brexit

British expats in the French village of Gouarec fear the prospect of a no-deal Brexit
By Euronews
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More than a quarter of Gouarec's population is British. Many residents are angry at Boris Johnson for not ruling out a no-deal Brexit which leave their future highly uncertain.


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has few friends in the Breton village of Gouarec, where over a quarter of its population is British. Many are anxious about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, which leaves their access to healthcare and pension entitlement in question.

Since taking office in July, Johnson has insisted that although he wants to sign an agreement with the EU, he is willing to leave without a deal. A no-deal Brexit would mean the UK would leave the single market and customs union which eliminate checks and tariffs between EU countries.

For British expats in Europe, this means European Health Insurance Cards would be invalid - making access to healthcare more difficult. It would also mean moving across borders would be more difficult.

UK expats have been advised to register as residents of the country they live in.

Mobile phone roaming charges could return on some operators.

The village story "Kerbain Farm" supplies British groceries in the village of Gouarec. The owner, Dawn White, said she was angry with Boris Johnson:

"I actually think he is a dictator. It's his way or the highway is basically what he's telling people. His vote is the only one that matters, he's not thinking of the people.

"He's not thinking of the people and certainly not the people over here who live in Brittany. You talk to any of our customers and they are absolutely petrified of being left with no-deal,"

She said fears of a no-deal exit meant she and her husband had contacted suppliers in Ireland so they could keep the shelves stacked if ever there were hold-ups or tariffs at the border.

Elderly residents of the village say they are worried about their continued access to France's healthcare system.

Retired residents receiving a British state pension are entitled to cover - funded by the British government. France has said it will extend the cover but a long term solution has not been determined.

One British resident said she was selling her holiday home in Brittany over the uncertainty of her entitlements in the future:

"It breaks my heart, but what can I do? It's too many indecisions and the health system here, it would be difficult for me now at my age to be on the health system here in France," she said.

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