Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Our burgundy passports are already starting to become useless for us expats

Please send your letters to

Saturday 28 July 2018 17:07 BST
I feel UK passports are already gaining second class status here in France
I feel UK passports are already gaining second class status here in France (iStock/Getty)

I’ve signed your second referendum petition and wish it every success. However, I feel UK passports are already gaining second class status here in France.

My wife and I moved here four years ago this month. We have had no trouble using our burgundy British passports for a number of identity purposes. When we bought our home in the Gard a year ago it was our good old UK passports which proved our identity. When you go to pick up a parcel at the local post office it’s your passport you take with. And so on and so forth for a number of vital tasks.

Yet the other day when I went to hire a car for our son visiting from London I faced a very sceptical server. She had to call head office just to clear it’s acceptability. This made me feel very awkward and more than a little apprehensive. It has never happened before and I am fearful it could become more and more commonplace even before we’ve left.

It is these sorts of incidents the inward-looking Europhobes at home never gave a moment’s consideration to when they crossed the Out box in June 2016. Yet it is expats like us, our families and friends, as well as British students and workers in general whose horizons have always stretched beyond Little England that will pay the price, if last-minute rescue bids like your petition don’t work.

I wish it all the luck and force in the world. Thanks for starting it.

Stephen Ward
Gard, France

Keep up the good work on your Final Say campaign

Congratulations to The Independent for attracting 300,000 names in 48 hours for its petition to allow the public to have a final say on any deal with the EU. Hopefully it will help bring about a total eclipse of Brexit.

Roger Hinds

What has the EU ever done for us?

Caroline Lucas has correctly identified the problem with the Remain campaign and the current thrust of the present attempt to persuade Leavers to change their position. It is essential that a younger generation (than mine) face up the campaign for a second vote on any deal, if any is eventually agreed with the EU27. However, we also need media like The Independent to run, and keep running positive stories about the benefits and positive effect the EU has had on our lives for the past 40 years, rather than a constant stream of horror stories about what will happen when we crash out with no deal.

Can I suggest something along the lines of the classic Monty Python sketch “What has the EU ever done for us?” We could start with; enshrining fundamental human rights, workers rights, environmental protection of our countryside, clean beaches – the list goes on and on. It is unlikely that many of our positive laws would be in place without the EU passing them.

Nick Harrison
New Malden, Surrey

Are we heroes for opposing Brexit?

I was less glad, indeed dismayed, to receive an email from hailing me a hero for having signed your Final Say campaign petition.

Now I am not aware that in this or any previous life have I fought in the Trojan Wars, flown a Spitfire in combat, been to the moon or saved my platoon, or taken part in any major sporting event. Give over! This epithet has been rendered meaningless and lightweight through overuse and saccharin pop song, though in this context perhaps it could be applied to Gina Miller and Caroline Lucas for talking sense, and Andy Martin’s piece at least focuses on some who may more traditionally deserve it, particularly in the fantasy realm of movies. I prefer the definition of hero more along the lines of an ordinary person reacting to extraordinary circumstances.

Ah, hang on, maybe it does fit after all.

Rick Biddulph

Stop your Final Say campaign immediately

What a Remainer rag this paper is. All the names you quote supporting a second vote are all the despised defeatist quislings who seem to relish the thought of being subservient to foreign vindictive dictators.

Thank God we had more people who were patriotic in 1939. I cannot understand the Remainer mentality that rejects freedom in favour of subservience. As for a second vote, Cameron stated in his Chatham House speech this would be a binding vote and that there would be no second vote. It seems that The Independent does not understand English. We voted for Brexit on the basis that it was a one off. You have 300,000 signatures for another vote. What percentage is that out of 17.4 million? As for the £350m on the Brexit bus, nowhere does it say £350m a week for the NHS. You are continuing to follow the Remainer myth over this. As for the number of students you refer to, I would not use this as an example. The students get a bad enough press as it is.

R Quirk

I am watching Brexit with bemusement

As a French citizen following closely the Brexit developments I am completely baffled as to why the Tory party did not put the true Brexiteers directly behind the wheel and let them take the responsibility of a hard version of Brexit that they thought possible. The British public at large never really bought the idea of Europe as a common house, so leaving is the only good option now.

Jumping off the cliff with no one actually leading this politically will result in a “Weimar” Britain, full of rancour when the consequences become obvious. Much better to do it voluntarily, with a firm Brexiteer leadership that would do its best to ensure that the British cat landed on its feet, and would then have the strength and political capital to conclude the necessary agreements with the EU, or be ejected by the voters for good if the public did not like the results.

Either way this would work its way, after a few years, towards a post-Brexit Britain and become a more stable country, clearly happy to have been separated from the European project, or possibly having changed its fundamental point of view and sincerely willing to rejoin the group.

Name and address supplied

Hypocrisy spotted from Germany

You‘ve got to love him! Liam Fox accuses the EU of “putting political ideology before the economic prospects of ordinary people”. Pots and kettles spring to mind.

Peter Russell
Landshut, Germany

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in