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October 2016
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November brings the fog…

imagesNovember’s weather: The only difference between a mist and a fog is the visibility. If visibility is reduced but it is still greater than 1000 metres it’s a mist, but if it is less than 1000 metres then it’s a fog.

It has nothing to do with droplet size, formation mechanism or anything else.

The UN’s World Meteorological Organisation enshrines these definitions in its regulations – see

Day-by-day on a knife edge – October’s diary of Chateau Rives-Blanques’ vineyard

Sunday October 2

MauzacOnVineVG-225x300Oh you amazing, magnificent mauzac!  How much longer can you make us dance to your tune?  A couple of days?  A week? Ten days?  Just how much longer can you hold out?

(How much longer can we hold out?)

The grapes look beautiful, and they are basking in the sunshine, in no hurry to go any where very fast.  So our harvest is on hold.

We all have our favourite weather forecast.  BBC versus France Metéo, versus the Norwegian Yr.  The Norwegian Yr has conveniently reduced the rain forecast for this week, so it is the current favourite. We need a solid week’s sunshine, no rain please: no rain, no rot – and that would be such a shame.  Seldom have we seen  mauzac so marvellously magnificent at this stage of the game.  How dreadful it would be to lose it.

Tuesday October 4

janwCheese16-300x300Last year’s Occitania, harvested so effortlessly from mauzac that had read the textbook and followed it to a T, features in Hubrecht Duijker’s October wine magazine on his website:  he being the most internationally known Dutch wine-writer, and Occitania being the most internationally known mauzac (thanks to KLM’s World Business Class).  The lesser-known Jan Panman is pictured there, alongside the aforesaid, talking about a subject close to our hearts: white wine with cheese. Generally so much better than red wine! The trouble is, the article’s in Dutch – though there’s nothing like the language of trying  it out for yourself for the proof of the pudding.  Click on the picture for the article.

In the same edition, the emeritus wine-writer included our chenin blanc Dédicace 2015 as one of his ‘finds of the month’.

Well, that’s a good start to the month.  A little light diversion from more pressing matters, so to speak.

Wednesday October 5

mauzacNest-300x225Cold today.  Overcast.  My forecast says 4.3 mm tomorrow.  Jan’s says thirty mm.  The TV says ‘severe thunder storms’ and ‘chance of flooding’.  I’m plumping for the benevolent Norwegian forecast – though there is definitely a threatening echo of distant rumblings in the sky over our heads.

Heavy rain now would be utterly disastrous.



Thursday October 6

The day broke broken by a dark,  ominous  grey sky. Great slashes of lightening overhead. Simultaneous roars of thunder crashing around directly above us. Then the heavens open.  I pray for the empty-nester mauzac vine  photographed yesterday, the one with a perfectly constructed nest clasped to its very heart.  And for all the rest of the vines waiting there to be harvested.

(And for us.)

In the end we got just over 10 mm, we can handle that.   Friends in Limoux got hail: we could not have handled that.

Michele, our neighbourly purveyor of fresh vegetables, casts a weathered eye at the sky.  “It’ll rain some more” she says.  “Mark my words, it’s not finished yet.”

Friday October 7

And she was right.

In the end we got 15 mm: four times the amount of one forecast, and half the amount of another – too little to be a big problem, but too much to be no problem at all: so the harvest goes back on hold.

Saturday October 8

TWO-copie-257x300Well, it’s true.  It doesn’t rain but it pours.   Today we get the news that the authoritative Wine Enthusiast magazine has put up tasting notes on four of our wines, giving two of them the top distinction: Editor’s Choice.  Another hallelujah moment at Rives-Blanques.  And a great day for our chardonnay, Odyssée, and our mauzac, Occitania.




Sunday October 9

Weather forecast has changed again. Now they’re saying rain on Wednesday.  So we phone around our long-suffering team to see who is free to come and harvest on Tuesday.  That will be the last field … until we get around to the late harvest sitting quietly at the top of the vineyard, waiting to take all the elements full square on the jaw.

Tuesday October 11

mauzacjardin-300x225A most gorgeous day.  Hills and mountains behind sketched in Cloudy Bay colours. We are already feeling quite nostalgic. These are our last grapes.  The last time we will all meet, shake heads, kiss cheeks with cheerful ‘bonjour’s’ before heading off into the sunrise, buckets and secateurs swinging.  Breath rising like smoke in the cold air.   The last time the tractors roar into life.  The last time we get on our knees before the mighty mauzac and dive into its dense heart for the grapes.  The last incredible back-aches.  The last seau tipped into the last trailer.  The last trailer pouring the last grapes onto the sorting table.  The last press.  The last cleaning of the press.  The last supper.

Excepting it’s not.

mauzacjardin2-300x225Tomorrow we continue, because there’s still about four hours’ worth of harvesting left to do. We didn’t manage to get it all in.  But we will get it in just before the rain comes, we think.





And then we can be nostalgic about Vintage 2016.

France Budget for 2017

By Rob Kay, Senior Partner, Blevins Franks

It is that time of year again, when the government releases its proposed budget for the following year and it starts to make its way through the parliamentary process. 

The 2017 draft budget was presented on 28th September 2016. Here is a summary of the main measures affecting expatriates. Please note that these are current proposals and there may be changes before it is approved by the French parliament.

Income tax

As previously announced, a French Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system will be introduced from January 2018. The reform will apply to employed and self-employed individuals, and those receiving income from French pensions and unfurnished lettings in France. It should also apply to wages, pensions and annuities paid by non-French entities to French resident individuals, although the mechanism for how this would work is unknown.

There will be a 20% income tax reduction for taxpayers with low income – up to €18,500 for individual taxpayers and €37,000 for couples subject to joint tax returns. A scale rate mechanism is introduced for those earning up to €20,500 (individual taxpayers) and €41,000 (couples). These limits will be increased by €3,700 for each additional half part for dependants.

The scale rates of income tax for calendar year 2016 (paid in 2017) are:

Net income subject to tax Tax rate
Up to €9,710 0%
€9,710 to €26,818 14%
€26,818 to €71,898 30%
€71,898 to €152,260 41%
Over €151,260 45%

Some tax credits will be extended:

  • The tax credit for sustainable development is extended up to 31st December 2017. This credit reduces the French income tax liability if you make energy efficiency improvements to your main home.
  • The tax credit for ‘Pinnel’ investments is extended up to 31st December 2017. This credit applies to green homes let for a minimum of six years.
  • The credits for non-professional furnished landlord under the ‘Censier-Bouard’ rules are extended up to 31st December 2017. This credit applies to French resident taxpayers acquiring a property to let unfurnished. Only retirement homes, care homes or student residences qualify.
  • The credit for home help should now be applicable to all taxpayers. Currently an individual who employs a home help (for domestic work, child care, gardening etc) may deduct 50% of the amount paid to the home help from his tax liability, up to a maximum of €12,000, plus €1,500 per dependent or household member aged over 65, maximum €15,000.  The maximum tax reduction is €7,500.
  • A tax credit is planned to be introduced on property for energy renovation work or adaptation for persons with disabilities. The tax reduction will equal 20% of the cost of the work, with a limit of €22,000.

Impatriate regime

The special impatriate regime for employees should be extended from five to a maximum of eight years. In addition, those under this regime will no longer be subject to ‘salary’ tax, a special tax payable by the employer on the employee’s income.

Tax cap

Currently combined French income tax, wealth tax and social charges cannot exceed 75% of your total income for the previous year.  An anti-abuse clause will be introduced in the wealth tax cap to prevent the use of holding companies to take income out of the cap calculation.

Wealth tax

The wealth tax holiday period has not been extended up to eight years as was predicted, so this remains at five years for now.

Succession tax

The succession tax reduction for families will be removed. Currently, where the beneficiary has more than three children, they can reduce their succession tax bill by €610 for the third and subsequent children, where the inheritance comes from a parent or spouse. This reduces to €305 if the inheritance is from another relative.

Corporation tax

For businesses whose turnover is less than €50 million, the corporation tax rate will reduce to 28% in 2017 for profits between €38,120 and €75,000. Corporation tax is currently levied at 15% for profits up to €38,120. Above €75,000 the normal 33.1/3% corporation tax rate will apply.

Compared to the budgets we had a few years ago, the measures in this draft budget should have little impact on retired British expatriates living in France.  However it is still important to review your tax planning from time to time to ensure it is up to date on all the tax reforms of recent years.  You also want to make sure you are not paying more tax than necessary on your investment income, pensions and wealth.

Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change.  Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change.  Tax information has been summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice.

To keep in touch with the latest developments in the offshore world, check out the latest news on our website




The British Citizen abroad WILL have a vote

by Brian Cave

The Government has formally declared that every British Citizen everywhere will have the vote.

Harry Shindler has been beating the drum on this for 16 years.  The MPs in the Commons will not listen to us if we have no vote.  There are very few who have shown any concern – among them is Sir Roger Gale and Geoffrey Clifton Brown and current members of the Liberal Democrat Party.  But Harry was the prime mover in getting the leading politicians of the Conservatives to promise to grant the vote.  He writes as below – but we need this vote now. Harry as it happens is a life time member of the Labour Party. But will the Labour party at Westminster agree?

Message from Harry Shindler – on Votes-For –Life.  October 5th 2016

Mail Attachment‘Downing Street’ writes as follows.

“Plans to remove the 15 year limit on overseas voting rights were set out in the Government Manifesto for this Parliament. THIS WILL BE DELIVERED Band  MEANS OF A GOVERNMENT BILL.. and further .. this will be in place for the next scheduledUK parliamentary elections.”

Which means.. there is being prepared a Government Bill to give us back our democratic right to vote. So, we are nearly there! Well done our ex-pats.

Now we await the Bill and its endorsement in Parliament. So we must step up our contacts with MPs and explain to them why they should support the Bill.

As the aim is for the General Election of 2020.. I have written to Downing Street, suggesring that the Bill be before Parliament in the present session.  We shall see.

So this is great news.  We shall vote at the next General Election. All those who have taken part in this long campaign will know that it was worth it, and as we kept saying

“We will win because we are right’.

The man (Winston Churchill) would have said

“This is not the end—

But it could be the beginning of the end”Mail Attachment 2

Powder Flights: Hit the slopes with Made in Chelsea’s Lucy & James

Whether it’s to carve up Whistler’s famous powder or board on Zermatt’s fierce black runs, those in search of next season’s snow now have the option to book their trip with British Airways Holidays.

This season, with the help of ski experts Powder White, British Airways Holidays will be offering a range of more than 500 three to five star hotels, apartments and chalets across 75 well-known ski resorts.

Screen Shot 2016-10-06 at 22.00.47To celebrate the launch, Made in Chelsea’s Lucy Watson and James Dunmore swapped Sloane Square for a snow globe in a ski inspired photo shoot at London Heathrow.
Model Lucy, 25, said: “We try and head off skiing twice a year but we are hoping to try boarding this season. We filmed in Chamonix last year and stayed in a huge catered chalet which was fantastic as it’s always so much fun getting a large group of friends together for a week on the slopes.”

James, 26, who has been dating Lucy since 2015, said: “I’ve been skiing since I was 11 years old and am a complete snow junkie. I’ll get the first lift up in the morning to take advantage of the fresh powder and quieter slopes and will ski straight through until après and the last lift down!”

Claire Bentley, managing director of British Airways Holidays, said: “We’ve launched 20 new routes already this year but now it’s time to turn our attention to the ski season. We are delighted to be offering our customers the chance to hit the slopes and book their ski holiday direct on We know our customers will enjoy this specialist selection of brilliant properties across the World’s best resorts which have been hand-selected by experts at British Airways and Powder White.”

To get snow bunnies excited about the new season Lucy and James share their top tips for the perfect ski holiday:

  1. When at après – split your skis with a friend so it prevents them from being stolen – even better, buy a ski lock and remember it’s perfectly normal to start doing shots at 2pm in Austria!
  2. Take the inside line on a ski lift queue – and sharpen your elbows  – to minimise queue times
  3. To soften ski boots in the morning, stand by radiator or put on heated boot rack.
  4. Remember to take a pair of sunglasses with you for lunch as eating lunch in your goggles is not a good look and when on chairlift put your goggles on your head for an even face tan.
  5. At the start of your holiday put your ski pass in your jacket pocket and leave it there then there is no danger of leaving it at your hotel

British Airways customers will soon be able to slope off and enjoy the best of scenic Austria with flights to Innsbruck from Heathrow starting on December 4.

British Airways Holidays has the following ski packages available:

  • Meribel – British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 3* The Annabel Chalet operated by Powder White, from £749 per person, travelling January 1 to January 31 (based on 6 adults sharing whole chalet). Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Gatwick and accommodation Fully Catered. Book by October 04. For reservations visit or call 0344 493 0125.
  • Chamonix – British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 4* Hôtel Mercure Chamonix les Bossons, from £399 per person, travelling March 1 – March 31. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Gatwick and accommodation. Book by October 04. For reservations visit or call 0344 493 0125.
  • Tignes – British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 4* Le Telemark, from £479 per person, travelling January 1 to January 31. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from London City and accommodation. Book by October 4. For reservations visit or call 0344 493 0125.
  • Andorra – British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 3* L’Ermita, from £319 per person, travelling January 1 to January 31. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by October 4. For reservations visit or call 0344 493 0125.
  • Norway – British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 3* Park Inn Trysil Mountain Resort, from £319 per person, travelling January 1 to January 31. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by October 4. For reservations visit or call 0344 493 0125.
  • Aspen – British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 4* Aspen Meadows Resort, from £969 per person, travelling November 17 to December 14. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow to Denver and accommodation. Book by October 4. For reservations visit or call 0344 493 0122.
  • Whistler – British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 5* Fairmont Chateau Whistler, from £1229 per person, travelling April 1 to April 30. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by October 4. For reservations visit or call 0344 493 0122.

- See more at:

. . . And we’re off


by Richard Pickering
Head of UK Research & Insight  Cushman & Wakefield

Down and out

Finally, the UK has some clarity on the timing and form of our exit from the EU. Assuming that timeframes are not extended, the UK will return to being a fully sovereign nation by the end of Q1 2019; one year prior to the likely date of the next General Election. At last weekend’s Tory party conference, Theresa May announced the prospect of a ‘Great Repeal Bill’ to unpick EU law, setting a vision for ‘a country that is no longer part of a political union with supranational institutions that can override national parliaments and courts’. As we now seemingly veer towards a ‘hard Brexit’, at least the markets have some clarity about the shape of our future.  The pound slumped to a 31-year low, 1.8% down on the previous Friday, whereas simultaneously the FTSE 100 almost reached its highest level ever at 7117. Confused?

Turbulent times and problematic productivity

Philip Hammond has ended the Conservative policy of creating a budget surplus by the end of the current parliament, as he embarks upon plans to create fiscal stimulus. £220m has been allocated to the Tech sector, and there is to be a substantial additional (£1.15bn) investment in housing. Still no news on Heathrow or HS2. Noting a productivity gap between London and the rest of the UK, the Chancellor hinted at infrastructure spend designed to address this inequality, with a new ‘Midlands Engine’ adding to the ongoing Northern Powerhouse proposals. Smart money perhaps now looking at the West Midlands?

Housing help

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has promised to tackle the housing crisis, citing it as being his ‘moral duty’ to do so. In an attempt to build a million homes by 2020, Javid has developed a two-pronged attack that he hopes will succeed where others have failed. The first limb is a £3bn ‘Home Building Fund’, which will provide loans to facilitate 25,000 homes by 2020. That’s 2.5% of the way there. The second is the ‘Accelerated Construction Scheme’ designed to unlock development on public land. Javid has been critical of the housebuilding industry, stating that “the big developers must release their stranglehold on supply”.  It is difficult to ignore that land supply is the solution to the housing crisis, but we must wait to see what further measures will be announced to achieve this.

Supply chains

A Bank of England Agent’s summary for Q3 has concluded that the devaluation of sterling has started to increase the cost of raw materials, in turn putting pressure on supermarket suppliers. The ability to pass on cost increases appears to be differentiated by sector, with certain commoditised services (cleaning, security) being more able to pass on increases than, for instance, professional services. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe, has indicated a view that price increases are not a necessary consequence of Brexit, with strong harvests likely to keep downward pressure on the cost of goods. Watch with interest next year, as hedging comes off and competition between the big retailers hots up.

Lending survey

A Cushman & Wakefield survey of lenders reveals that the overwhelming majority continue to lend in the UK.  Only 5% have shut their UK books; however, appetite for lending on speculative development is noticeably down. Interestingly, appetite from lenders for pre-let development stock was greater than for non-prime investment stock in second tier cities, casting a spotlight on a growing differential between prime and secondary. Overall, however, lenders have reported minimal impact of Brexit on their business.

Level playing fields

In a blow to the North East, Nissan has deferred investing in its Sunderland plant, pending further clarity on the trade tariffs. The manufacturer, which employs 7,000 staff at the plant, has asked for compensation in the event of additional costs due to Brexit, precipitating a round of requests for parity from other manufacturers. Jaguar Land Rover, which employs 25,000 in the UK, has asked for “fair treatment and a level playing field”, whilst Honda, which has invested £200m in a new hub in Swindon remains committed to the UK but wants “a fast and clear statement”. The pressure falls on May et al to deliver some swift assurances.

Life returns to normal

Standard Life Investments has stated an intention to reopen its £2.5bn UK Real Estate and Feeder funds on 17 October, becoming the fifth fund manager to do so. In a letter to investors, Director Lynn Scott acknowledged that the economic data has not been as negative as expected, but that “the steady secure income component generated by property is likely to be the key driver of returns going forward over the near term”. Our own forecasts show that capital returns in most UK sectors will be under pressure over the next year, with income propping up total returns.

Crude calculations

Following a lengthy period of stagnation in the oil market, OPEC struck a deal this week to slow down production, pushing pricing up towards $50 per barrel. Pricing had fallen from a high of c.$150 / barrel in 2008 to c.$25 / barrel in January this year, putting significant pressure on oil-producing economies. Cushman & Wakefield research identifies Aberdeen as Europe’s most heavily oil-dependent city, accounting for 14.1% of the city’s GDP. The local office market performance is well correlated with the performance of oil price, and increasing vacancy in Aberdeen will be a likely result of sustained low pricing. The news this week will be welcomed in Aberdeen, but the still-sluggish long-term outlook remains a dissuasive factor for a further Scottish independence bid.

Mission to Mars

Opening up the prospect of a new trading partnership for the UK, Tesla and PayPal founder Elon Musk has set out plans to travel to Mars by 2022, making the Red Planet an early contender for a new trade treaty. The SpaceX proposals seem feasible – the journey to Mars would take only c. 80 days, making it comparable to an eighteenth century ship crossing to America. More ambitiously, Musk hopes to establish a colony of over a million Martians by 2060 – making it more populous than EU countries such as Cyprus and Luxemburg. However, in order to successfully develop the Martian economy, Musk would need to convince people with a broad range of skills to make the initially perilous journey. So far Leonardo Di Caprio has signed up. Titanic 2?

125 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1AR, United Kingdom

Pensioners Debout! September/October 2016 Newsletter

by Brian Cave

1. ECREU –

The organisation of the ECREU campaign is under way. A small group of us have signed the necessary papers which under French Law enable it to be an official association.   ECREU has over 3,000 members at the moment -  There is a ‘steering committee’ of six people which includes members from Berlin to Spain.

In future I will tend to send fewer mails as from ‘Pensioners Debout’.

Material sent to ECREU members may well duplicate some of this – The ECREU lists are longer than mine.

It is wise to join ECREU  to be kept informed. There is no member’s fee.  And please encourage others to join.

ECREU has welcomed contact with the organisation called ‘3’ which is set up by the EU nationals living in the UK who are equally concerned about Brexit.

ECREU’s concern is the well-being of the British citizens across the EU States, but clearly the reverse case of the EU nationals in the UK is a parallel concern.  Whether Brexit eventually comes about or not, these concerns remain.

The only political party whose strong policy is to retain close bonds inside the EU is the Liberal Democrat Party.  Their information is viewable here

There is no available information of a similar kind from other parties.

Meanwhile the campaign for Votes-For-Life continues. []

This campaign was initiated by the Conservative Party in France. It is the Conservatives who promise the Votes-for Life.

In connection with that campaign, Harry Shindler (a life time supporter of the Labour Party ) writes as follows….

2. Report from Harry Shindler.

22 September  Harry had a mail from 10 Downing Street  and also from the EU Commission – Both concern ‘Votes for Life’

Downing Street (that is to say with the knowledge and blessing of Mrs May the PM) writes That a ‘Votes-for-Life Bill will be enacted in time for the next scheduled general election’  That is in time for 2020.  Harry is replying to Mrs May to the effect– why not now?

The same day he had a many paged message from the EU Commission.  This has not been seen by me; Harry is forwarding photocopies.  However, I understand that the EU will produce a ‘citizen’s charter’ this autumn which requests that all EU States should ensure that all their citizens throughout the EU will be able to vote in General elections to their National Governments.  That will also include any future referenda.

3. ITEM of the Moment 

Contacting politicians & the Conservative Party Conference

As is the main objective of ECREU – We must try to ensure that Politicians at Westminster are on our side.  Getting politicians to read any messages from citizens who have no vote is most difficult.

Ecreu committee members have written to all 42 MPs who signed the Early Day Motion EDM 259.

To view the names of these 42 go to —-

There were in this list 1 Conservative, 21 Labour, 5 Lib-Dems, 1 Green, 2 Independents, 11 SNP, and 1 Plaid Cymru.


The following peers have also been contacted Lexden (C) – Tyler (LD) & Kinnock (L)

& also these extra MPs.  Sir Roger Gale (C), , Barry Sheerman (L), Chris Bryant (L), Tom Sheppard (SNP),  Oliver Letwin (C).

We have the following replies

From Tom Brake MP (LibDem) — I will look forward to working with you on the issue of UK citizens in other EU countries.   I was very interested to see the statistics you have collated.

From Lord Paul Tyler (LibDem) – I was delighted to hear from you, and very much appreciate all your timely advice and comprehensive data on this issue………(he continues on the subject of the vote)  ….Put yourself in the shoes of the individual Constituency MP;  faced with the problems, concerns and special interests of some 75,000 constituents on his or her doorstep how many will give appropriate attention to a few dozen potential voters, with perhaps very different interests, living many hundreds of miles away ?    I had 87,000 eligible electors in my North Cornwall constituency:  l have to confess that I was never even aware of the number of expatriates registered on our electoral roll.  This is why the Commons will be reluctant to simply remove the 15 year limit.

From Oliver Letwin MP (cons) —I am convinced that the Government will focus heavily on the situation of ex-pat UK citizens living in the EU as part of the Brexit negotiations……   So, …I will certainly speak up if there is any sign of UK citizens in the EU being disadvantaged as a result of Brexit.

Members of the Conservative Party are being lobbied as the Conservative Party Conference begins.  Those who can make contact with a Conservative MP could help. If you want an idea of a draft mail please contact me.

YOU can contact MPs or Peers by finding their email addresses in the link below..


4.  The Winter Fuel payment.

You may have not seen this document composed by Roger Boaden

It is self explanatory.


Who are the expatriates affected? (both EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU)

A categorisation.

1.  Those who are established in the EU country in which they live, for example, working as employees or established under freedom of establishment rules as self-employed or employed professionals, (currently) benefiting from mutual recognition of qualifications under EU law.  These people are integrated into the local community, but do not hold the citizenship of the resident State, given that they have a right of free movement.  They pay local and national taxes in their country of residence, use the local health services and their children have been brought up in that country, although this will not necessarily guarantee that those children have a right to dual nationality.  In their every day lives, they are not dependent on the UK but they are dependent on their EU citizenship rights deriving from the UK’s membership of the EU e.g. free movement of workers, freedom of establishment, mutual recognition of qualifications.  They also have no voting rights in national elections in their country of residence and thus can only participate in the democratic process at national level in the UK.

[In reverse such is the situation of the vast majority of EU citizens resident in the UK. e.g EU nurses in the NHS]

2/. Those who work in more than one country, or have worked in a series of EU/other countries during their international career.

The former category may live in one country and perhaps work in that country and another: e.g. living and working between Paris and Brussels.  These people currently benefit from the principle of free movement of workers and there are special social security rules at EU level covering cross-border workers.

The position of those who have lived and worked in multiple countries is similar to category 1 but they have not stayed long term in any one country.  They are even more reliant on the rights of free movement, freedom of establishment and mutual recognition of qualifications they enjoy as EU citizens, and which derive from the UK’s membership of the EU, which have allowed them to work in a series of different EU countries.  They will have paid into the social security and health systems of each country and will have multiple national pension claims to make on retirement.  Their children will have grown up in several different countries, speaking different languages and experiencing different school systems but are less likely to have acquired citizenship rights in any of those countries than the children of those in category 1. As Category1, in their daily lives, they are not dependent on the UK but they are dependent on their EU citizenship rights deriving from the UK’s membership of the EU.  As is the case as regards Category 1,

3.  Those who are retired and depend on the implementation of Regulation 883/2004 (on co-ordination of Social Security in he EU). They are hugely dependent on their National State for their health care support and pensions income. This category is greatest for the retired British Citizens in the EU, who number more than 400,000.

In reverse the number of retired citizens receiving pensions from other EU States living in the UK is very small. As an example there are 69,000 retired British citizens receiving the UK State pension residing in France and less than 100 French retired Citizens receiving a French state pension residing in the UK. This is more extreme for Spain which has 108,000 UK State pensioners.

They have no voting rights in national elections in their country of residence and thus can only participate in the democratic process at national level in the UK. But after 15 years they have no voting rights at all at any National level.

All categories prior to a Brexit can vote in the local elections where they are resident. This applies of course also to EU nationals in the UK. But those in almost all instances have a vote and representation in their own National Government.

4.  Future generations especially of students, others, and the retired who would follow in the footsteps of the categories above.

I acknowledge the help of other members of ECREU in compiling this.


Geocaching lining up for the walking season

Some of the background to Geocaching, a reason to walk . . .

On March 24, 2009, Jon Stanley (username: Moun10Bike) stood on 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle, WA. He snapped a selfie before walking into the nondescript office across the street. It was Jon’s first day at a new job.

Jon’s first day at Geocaching HQ.

“I took a selfie — perhaps my first-ever — of me arriving at Groundspeak on my first day working here,” said Jon. “I was told I was employee #28.”

Jon had a long history with the game before joining the company behind, now known as Geocaching HQ. He first met Founder Jeremy Irish in 2000. Over lunch, the two discussed software that Jon had provided for an early version of the website. “The community was small then and I was in the same geographic area,” Jon said. “So it was natural that we would end up getting together.”

Jeremy realized that’s traffic would quickly outgrow the website he’d started as a hobby site. In 2000, he partnered with two co-workers, Elias Alvord and Bryan Roth, to start a new company. With the proceeds from selling 144 geocaching t-shirts, they began to scale the website to keep up with its growing audience. The three founders continued working at their day jobs while managing the website on the side.

Cathy Hornback (username: Prying Pandora) first met the founders when they spontaneously showed up at her Cache In, Trash Out® Event. “I almost peed my pants when they just showed up. No warning.”


Today, Cathy wears multiple hats: player (she’s going on 15,000 finds), volunteer reviewer, and Community Volunteer Support Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. “We exist because one guy had a crazy idea to hide a bucket of trinkets for other people to find with their newly accurate GPS receivers. Then another guy (Jeremy) had the gumption to build a website to list them all,” said Cathy.

Cathy first met Jon in 2005 while looking for the same geocache. Five years later, she joined him as an employee at Geocaching HQ. “We exist because of our community’s engagement,” Cathy said. “Without them, there would be nothing.”

Jon and Cathy were welcomed on their first days at Geocaching HQ by another long-time geocacher, Annie Love (username: Love). “I still pinch myself daily that I get to work here,” Annie said. “Geocaching was my hobby before I started working here and it’s a dream to get to do something I love for work. Sure, I sit at a desk most of the time, but getting to help people with this game for work is pretty awesome.”

Annie joined Geocaching HQ on January 29, 2007. “My first job was to work as the receptionist at the front desk, answer phone calls and emails about the game of geocaching.”

When Annie started, there were a dozen or so employees and 353,685 active geocaches. Today, Geocaching HQ has 74 employees and the website lists nearly 3 million geocaches hidden all over the world.

Annie, now Partner Programs Manager, said, “We really listen to our community. We might not be able to make everything to perfection overnight, but we definitely hear the wants and needs of the community and apply that directly to what we work on.”

June 28 2007
A company photo taken in June 2007, shortly after Annie and Jenn started.

A few months later, Jenn Seva (username: MissJenn) joined Geocaching HQ as employee #17, having previously served as a Community Volunteer Reviewer. “I started as a player of the game in 2001. I’m lucky enough to have combined my hobby and my livelihood without ruining either one of them.”

Now Senior Manager of Tourism and Travel, Jenn said, “Geocaching HQ is different than most other companies because we are made up of employees who want to be here. We want to delight our community and encourage people to go play outside. I don’t feel like just an insignificant cog in a giant wheel.”

Jon, Cathy and Annie feel similarly. “You only need to talk to the founders or any employee to see that we are passionate about the game and keeping people engaged with a fun and rewarding pastime for years to come,” said Jon. “While we may seem to move slow, it is not because of a lack of desire to improve things, only that we are a lot smaller than people know. I see our purpose to be good custodians of the game and provide the tools and means for people to have and share these experiences and adventures.”

Company pic 2015 summer
A company photo taken last summer.

Sixteen years later, Geocaching HQ remains a strong, independent organization on a mission to enable adventure, exploration, and discovery. We are led by our original founders and we have no outside investors or influences who would maximize profits at the expense of the game.

Annie said, “The community creates the game. We want to create the best tools to play it.”

Flybe’s new routes from Manchester

flybe175Leading regional airline introduces Lyon and Chambery to its schedule

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, announced the start of its new year-round daily service to Lyon from Manchester Airport with one way fares from as low as £29.99 including taxes and charges. The airline has also confirmed it will be adding Chambery as a new destination to its Manchester 2016-17 Winter schedule. Flights are available for booking now at just 1hr 45 minutes, customers from Manchester will have a direct link to the historic city of Lyon that is renowned as a World Heritage Site and thriving cultural centre. It is also conveniently positioned for onward travel to Switzerland or Italy with Geneva under two hours’ drive away and Turin just under four.

Chambery flights will operate from 20th December through to 19th March 2017. The destination is ideally positioned for not only French resorts but for Swiss and Italian skiing adventures with hundreds of ski resorts within easy reach of the popular French city.


Effective for travel from 1st August – 25th March 2017
Operates Daily
Dep MAN 1105  Arr LYS 1350   Dep LYS 1425  Arr MAN 1515
Dep MAN 1155  Arr LYS 1440   Dep LYS 1510  Arr MAN 1600

Effective for travel on Tuesdays from 20th Dec to 8th Jan and Sundays from 3rd Jan to 19th March
Dep MAN 0800 Arr CMF 1100 CMF    Dep CMF 1145 Arr MAN 1245

Flybe’s Chief Revenue Officer, Vincent Hodder, comments: “We are excited to be launching our new service to Lyon and as well as expanding our offering to our North West passengers.

lyon_skyline_gettyLyon is an appealing option for both business and leisure travellers with frequent daily flights that give customers the flexibility they need when arranging their travel plans. We’re also pleased to announce an expansion to our ski destinations with the addition of Chambery joining our Geneva and Toulouse routes.”

Stephen Turner, Commercial Director for Manchester Airport, adds: “We’re delighted to see the rhone-alpeslaunch of Flybe’s new daily service to Lyon and the addition to its winter schedule.  We’re confident both routes will prove hugely popular with the 22 million people in our catchment area. They’re perfect destinations for people looking for a summer city break or even to explore the slopes.”  

Congratulations to Susan Keefe, our book reviewer

Toby’s Tails – Easter at Fantasy Farm wins at the Summer Indie Book Awards.

In August I was notified that my children’s book, Toby’s Tails – Easter at Fantasy Farm, had been nominated in this year’s Summer Indie Book Awards in the Favourite Holiday Book category, by whom I still do not know. It was a great honour and so when I discovered, on the 11th September, that I had in fact won the category I was over the moon. The book, which is available in Paperback and Kindle format, now has a new cover which is FRONT COVER AWARD.jpg 3proudly emblazoned with the award winning badge.

People who know me, understand that I am passionate about animals, and always have been. There is a wonderful world out there and I can think of no better way to educate children in a fun way, about animals and wildlife, than to cuddle up with a good book full of pictures, and join Toby the Border Collie on his adventures. This is why my books were written, and from the fantastic reviews I have received, my message is coming through, which is the greatest reward possible for me.

This is just one of the reviews from the award winning book:

“In Toby’s Tails – Easter at Fantasy Farms, we are reacquainted with Toby, an adorable Border Collie. Toby is beyond excited to have Connor and Mason (the grandchildren) come to visit Fantasy Farms. Along with Toby’s mom, they all experience one adventure after another exploring the beauty of nature at Fantasy Farms. The story will draw readers in from the very first page to the last. I was mesmerized by Ms. Keefe’s story and felt as if I was a part of the group’s grand adventures . The pictures that are shared in this book are vividly amazing. The author does a terrific job sharing in-depth details about the farm creatures shown in each picture. In this book, you will learn about animals, insects and nature in a fun and visual way.

I thoroughly enjoyed Toby’s Tails – Easter at Fantasy Farms. It’s a story for all ages even though it’s classified as a children’s book. After all, who doesn’t adore a lovable border collie and a farm full of interesting animals, insects, and the beauty of nature? Fantasy Farms is a breathtaking place that I’d love to visit. In the meantime, I will absorb the beauty of it all through Ms. Keefe’s entertaining Toby Tails books.” DianeRoseDuffy

SUE & TOBY MASTER MOD with AWARDIf you would like more information about this book or any in the Toby’s Tails Fantasy Farm series you can find this book on Amazon and if you click on the highlighted ‘Susan Keefe’ on the page you will see the rest of the series, all of which are available in English and some are also in French, and Spanish.

I would like to invite you to visit the book’s Facebook page

and visit the website

If you would like your book personalised with a message from the author please contact me on either of the above pages.

Susan Keefe

Award Winning Children’s Book Author