Former Vote Leave chairman applies for French residency

Former Vote Leave chairman Lord Lawson has applied for French residency
Former Vote Leave chairman Lord Lawson has applied for French residency
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A leading Brexit campaigner is applying for his official French residency card.

Lord Lawson, who was the former Vote Leave chairman, has told Connexion he is applying for his carte de sejour – a document that secures his rights to remain in Gascony post-Brexit.

The campaigner has been living in south-west France.

He has also previously made headlines for denying climate change on the Today programme.

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The Interior Ministry in France has previously mentioned that Britons living in France should seek to get their carte de sejour.

In April they warned fewer than 15,000 ex-pats had them, but that there were perhaps as many as 150,000 Brits living in France at the time.

They have insisted that applications should be started now to prevent a rush after Brexit.

Lord Lawson, a former Chancellor who served in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, has previously stated in a Guardian piece from 2016 that he loves Europe and subsequently lives on the continent.

However, he sees the European Union as an economic failure.

“Look at unemployment rates around the EU, particularly very high youth unemployment rates,” Lord Lawson said at the time of the Brexit vote.

“So the idea that somehow it’s an economic asset to us to be in the EU is, I think, bizarre. The EU has never made economic sense.

“I see no purpose in the EU now at all. I think that if it ceases to exist, we’ll have better relationships. If you look now, there is far more hostility among the different countries of Europe than there has been at any time since the war.”

The rights of Brits living, working or studying abroad have been a frequent point of contention since Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016.

Law lecturer Anne Wesemann wrote a month after the referendum that “in the worst-case scenario, they would have to leave the country as they will lose the right to move and reside freely”.

However, she said, a case put before the Court of Justice of the European Union about whether EU citizenship can be revoked should offer some comfort.

“[Brits living in Europe] would be in a unique position, where the state whose nationality they hold withdraws from the European Union and consequently strips its citizens of their European Union citizenship, including all of the rights attached to it,” she said.