Carcassonne update - process in abeyance but helpful plus increased security

We went into Carcassonne Prefecture this morning.  Waited about 1hr. to be seen as desk did not open till 9am and we got there at 8.30 for when the gates were opened.  Still we were No. 10 in our particular queue.   We handed over all the papers and documents and as expected the chap explained that they had stopped processing applications.  However, he could/would take our papers and they would be dealt with as and when a decision was made.   I had typed up a list of all the items taken from my lever-arch file, and he kindly signed, stamped and dated this for me.   Someone will telephone my mobile once they know what is going to happen.  I said if the papers were not going to be processed in the end, then I would like the file back.  So, it was with great relief we came away with duplicate documents so we know exactly what they have had, and a signed informal receipt – better than nothing if anything goes wrong.

So that is the up to date situation at Carcassonne. Another new initiative, is the Security has been increased.  There is a new entry system, a bit like at the airport, where metal items are put in a tray and one goes through an arch-scanner, and bags also checked separately.  It added to the time to get in, but at least we felt confident nothing untoward was likely to happen.


Reply from an MP ref S1 in the event of no deal

ou asked about access to healthcare for retired UK nationals living in France, in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

There is some uncertainty about the status of current EU reciprocal healthcare arrangements in the event the UK leaves the EU without a negotiated deal, and the UK Government has published some advice, UK nationals living in the EU/EEA and Switzerland: Healthcare (last updated 28 August). The advice notes that S1 certificates may not be valid in the event of no deal, as this will depend on decisions by and arrangements with the relevant host state. The webpage also advises that individuals should go to the NHS website for the latest information on each country. The Government made a Written Ministerial Statement on 19 March 2019, updating on reciprocal healthcare plans in the event of no deal. The following PQ response on 1 April 2019 also provides an update (PQ 237170, 1 April 2019):

Asked by Mr Steve Reed

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether UK citizens living in the European Union and utilising S1 form certificates to access medication for existing chronic conditions will be able to do so in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Answered by: Stephen Hammond

On 19 March 2019, I laid a written ministerial statement (HCWS1429) on the Department’s plans for the continuity of reciprocal healthcare arrangements in the event we exit the European Union without a deal. This statement includes specific guidance for residents and posted workers who hold S1 entitlement forms.

The United Kingdom has proposed to EU Member States and European Free Trade Association States that we should maintain the existing healthcare arrangements, in both a ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’ scenario up until 31 December 2020. This will avoid disruption of healthcare provision which includes access to medication for UK nationals currently living, working, or travelling in the EU. We are also making a guarantee to member states, for the avoidance of any doubt on this issue, that we will reimburse member states for treatments that were ongoing on exit day, for up to one year where this is necessary.

Although we have been very clear that we would like to extend all existing healthcare rules, we cannot unilaterally guarantee all EU Member States will recognise EU healthcare entitlement forms including the S1 after exit day, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,

House of Commons Library