THE French Senate last night passed a draft emergency law to prepare for a no-deal Brexit after politicians warned France could not ignore the stark possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a negotiation in place.
As such, the measures will help safeguard the interests of French nationals having worked or studied in the UK, by ensuring that their periods of employment and pension rights, as well as any qualifications acquired in the UK, are taken into account should they return to France.
But they will also seek to protect France-based British citizens and legal entities, who, once Brexit comes into force, will be subject to French law, particularly in terms of the right to entry and residence, employment, social rights and the right to welfare benefits.
The senators stressed that the content of the measures the government eventually adopts will depend on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations under way.
The two sides are currently at loggerheads over how to best deal with their only land border, between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.
The problem centres on a so-called backstop – an insurance policy there will be no return to a hard border in Ireland, a former focal point for sectarian tensions, if a future trading relationship is not in place in time.