Ex-chancellor Nigel Lawson has applied for French residency. This is the same Nigel Lawson who was also chair of the pro-Brexit Vote Leave campaign.
On 30 May, Lawson told French newspaper Connexion:
he has no regrets about Brexit despite living in France – and is applying for his carte de séjour.
he considers the extra paperwork to be among certain ‘tiresome rather than serious’ impacts which Brexit may have on expats like himself.
Many people have taken to Twitter to share their confusion about Lawson’s move. Some asked French president Emmanuel Macron to reject his application:
Nigel Lawson, unelected member @UKHouseofLords, domiciled in France 4 decades, tells British pple incessantly that #UK shld leave #EU as "better for the country". Meanwhile, he applies 4 residency 2 remain in France. @EmmanuelMacron pls reject his application. #StopBrexit pic.twitter.com/i0Vg47626F
— reallyglobal #FBPE (@reallyglobal) May 30, 2018
— DAVE FAIRWEATHER #FBPE (@DLFairweather) May 31, 2018
There’s also widespread concern and confusion about UK citizens’ post-Brexit rights to live and work in Europe:
Nigel Lawson, lead Brexiter, who wants UK youth to be stripped of their right to live and work in the EU without barriers, has applied for French residency. *KICKS EVERYTHING IN SIGHT* https://t.co/AhYoKhNBTl
— Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKennedy) May 31, 2018
Nigel Lawson key proponent of hardest possible #brexit & scourge of those with the slightest doubt or fears on brexit….
…has applied for a long term French residency permit.
Leave voters your leaders are laughing at you. They’ll have it all ways round. You won’t.
— Nick🇬🇧🇪🇺 (@nicktolhurst) May 30, 2018
Essentially, his latest move means he won’t have to deal fully with the consequences of Brexit:
Nigel Lawson continues to defend a botched Brexit but now he is escaping to the sun with an application for permanent French residency.
Yet another elite who won't have to face the consequences of their deal, unlike ordinary Brits who will.
— Best For Britain (@BestForBritain) May 31, 2018
Rats and ships…
Does this mean he expects the UK to crash out with no deal and no citizens’ rights agreement or is it just that he feels insecure along with the rest of us and would rather have an EU document to prove his rights than rely on the UK government to secure them?
And many people are completely baffled by what they see as the sheer hypocrisy of Lawson’s move:
For once even I’m lost for words! You literally could not make this up! https://t.co/VRFo8ZSUMZ
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) May 31, 2018
The ‘patriot’ and former chancellor Nigel Lawson applies for residency in France, where he lives
— Molly Scott Cato MEP (@MollyMEP) May 31, 2018
Some have gone further:
Why am I thinking about rats and sinking ships?https://t.co/emNdYReynT
— Jeremy Sutcliffe (@JeremyWerneth) May 31, 2018
Hopefully @EmmanuelMacron will arrange for his application to be declined on the basis that he is a threat to EU Sovereignty, peace, prosperity and security.
Or just for taking the piss out of UK & EU citizens in every capacity
— Alladin Noons #FBPE (@AlladinNoons) May 31, 2018
Brexit is in chaos, with no clear indication of how Theresa May’s government plans to move forward. But one certainty is that things will change for both UK citizens, and EU nationals living in the UK.
So for the 48.1% who voted to remain in the EU, Lawson’s move is a real kick in the teeth. Because when the guy who chaired the campaign to leave wants to live in Europe, it really does suggest Brexit is pretty f*cked.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
Featured image via Chatham House/Wikimedia