I read with interest in The Times (UK) of December 21, 2023 that the French government is planning to pass legislation such that “Britons with second homes in France will be granted automatic long-stay visas allowing them to stay for up to six-months at a time“. This is to prevent “a trend of closed shutters and cold beds”.
It is clear that there are many UK residents who like to be abroad to miss the worst four or five months of a UK winter. Before Brexit resulted in the imposition on Brits of the dreaded ’90-day rule’, we were able to spend those months enjoying the much better weather in countries such as Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy and southern France.
The French government appears to be the first to work out a way around the problems created by the 90-day rule, without actually breaking the rule itself, and will potentially benefit from the money brought in by Brits in particular.
The Portuguese government should do something similar; otherwise, UK residents with Portuguese second homes will be sorely tempted to sell their Portuguese second home and buy one in Southern France instead. This would surely deprive the Portuguese economy of much-need inflows of tourist cash.
How can we lobby the Portuguese government on this?
(Cambridge and Tavira)
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