Reuters has reported that in a government meeting, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has tasked ministers:
" To prepare contingency measures that would be necessary to mitigate the difficulties linked with the unprecedented challenge of a no deal Brexit."
France to make cotingency plans for no deal Brexit, Reuters, 27 August
Measures would include facilitating the stay of British citizens currently living in France and ensuring smooth border controls, the statement said.
The prospect that the French government could be about to issue some form of unilateral guarantees to British residents in France could start to bring some slight relief from uncertainty to British residents in France.
It is also a partial vindication of the New Europeans' campaign for #unilateralguarantees which has focussed for the last two years on influencing national politicians and the European Parliament rather than the negotiations between the UK government and Mr Barnier of the European Commission.
Commenting on the latest developments, Roger Casale, Founder and CEO of New Europeans, said:
"We have always maintained that there was a high risk of no deal being achieved.
In any case, it was morally repugnant from the outset to treat 5 m people in the UK and the rest of EU as bargaining chips and suspend their future plans in a sea of uncertainty.
So this is encouraging news in terms of the unilateral approach but let's wait to see the details of what's on offer .
British citizens in France and in Europe need much more than just the #righttostay guaranteed - they need access to healthcare, recognition of qualifications, protection of their pension rights and much more besides including onward mobility rights in the EU and the right to vote in local elections.
As we put it, British citizens need comprehensive, unilateral guarantees not just well-intentioned words on Mr Barnier's office.
What a shame the #EU has not yet offered full guarantees for all #BritonsinEurope.
We will not stop campaigning until we secure this outcome."
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