Leading Brexit campaigner and former Vote Leave chairman Lord Lawson has applied for official residency status in France in an attempt to protect himself from the fallout of Britain’s exit form the European Union next year.
In an interview with the French monthly English-language magazine Connexion, the famous climate change denier said he was applying for his carte de séjour to secure his right to live in Gascony, south-west France, after Brexit.
His decision follows advice from the French Interior Ministry, which told Britons based in France to apply for a carte de séjour before Britain leaves the EU to enable them to continue living in the country without major disruption. As many as 150,000 Brits are believed to currently live in France, but only ten percent of them currently have the documentation they will need to stay there after March 2019.
The rights of Britons living in Europe and EU citizens living in the UK have been a point of contention in Brexit negotiations, as neither group was allowed to vote in the referendum despite arguably facing the most dramatic impact to their lives. Theresa May’s government’s decision to use EU citizens in the UK as a bargaining chip in negotiations has been widely dismissed as “morally indefensible“, but their status remains up for debate with only months to got before the UK leaves the union.