Letter: Waiting patiently in prefectures

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Sir: As a British citizen living in France, I would just like to say how closely I can relate to John Lichfield's problems in getting a "Carte de Sejour" and translations of birth certificates ("France ensnares foreigners in baffling tangle of red tape", 2 August). These are exactly the difficulties working people and students from other EU countries face when settling in France.

There are far-reaching consequences, because these documents are needed should you want to claim housing benefit, unemployment benefit or to exchange your driving licence for a French one, just to give a few examples.

I have grown to accept this as part of French officialdom and, like John Lichfield, calmly doze off and wait patiently in prefectures. But what I would really like to know is if it is as difficult for an EU citizen to get these things done in the UK.

ANTONY FLEGMANN

Llandudno, North Wales

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