In this cool October morning, the sounds of foot resound in the Napoleon III style property, nestled in a green flow of Vésinet, west of Paris. The living rooms with gilded moldings are empty: Pierre Blanchet has just relocated as a family after six years in London, and the furniture has not arrived yet. The Anglo-Saxon adventure turned short because of Brexit.
It is with some disillusions on the British neighbor that this banker BCBG, beige sweater, jeans and loafers, finds France earlier than expected. "Before the referendum, we did not have the goal to return, we did not even think about it", he confides. London, hectic and hot, the dominant financial market of the planet, was then a great springboard for his career. Employed by the Sino-British HSBC banking giant, first in France, he saw his post transferred to the other side of the Channel in 2013. "It's always easier to progress in a box when you're at headquarters: the central functions and the people making the decisions are in London", he says.
But on June 23, 2016, the British voted against keeping the United Kingdom in the European Union (EU). The border is closing.
"Brexit is a Sartrean mechanism: you have to make a choice. For most of our binational friends, those who did not have the nationality took the step of taking a British passport when they would never have done it if there had not been Brexit. For us, staying in London meant passing an exam, an interview, it's still a damn thing … It was considered. But do I want to become subject of the queen? It's not simple. " Pierre Blanchet potash European law. The family wonders if the children will have, if they stay, the same easy access to the English university as in the past, what are their rights to the health system, and at what rate. The weather's changing.
"In London, a cosmopolitan city, the Europeans did not feel like strangers, we were just in a nice, exotic world, "british". But the day after the vote, that day, you become a stranger, as you have never been. "
"All of a sudden, the mood changes"
The summer following the referendum, in the districts of the capital where the French or Italian community is particularly important, hostile words are released.