A leading campaigner for Britain's exit from the European Union has been accused of hypocrisy after applying for permanent residency in France.
Former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson told newspaper The Connexion that he is applying for a permanent residency card, known as a "carte de sejour," which it is hoped will avoid complications after Brexit.
Brexit will end the right of EU citizens to live in Britain and vice-versa. Both Britain and the bloc say they want expats to retain their current rights, but questions remain over the status of 3 million EU nationals in the U.K. and 1 million Britons in other EU countries.
Lord Lawson, 86, who chaired Britain's Vote Leave campaign, said he was "not worried" about his status as a Briton in France. He live in who lives in an 18th century country house in Gers, south-west France,.
Pro-EU group Best for Britain said that Lawson "looks like a hypocrite."
Spokesman Paul Butters said the thought of Lord Lawson applying for a French residency card "takes the biscuit".
"It seemed to Lawson that no cost was not worth paying to leave. But with this news, it seems the cost will be paid by others while the former chancellor suns himself in his luxury home in France."
There are more than 150,000 Britons living in France whose future has been complicated by the bitterly fought 2016 UK referendum that voted to leave the European Union by a narrow 52 percent majority.
Many of the long-time British immigrants in France expressed outrage at Lord Lawson's application for a residency permit and said they hoped it would be turned down, reported The Local.
Russell Hall, who lives in the Dordogne told The Local: "What annoys so many of us is his extraordinarily blasé and casual attitude. Perhaps his wealth and privilege protect him from the chaos and disruption that will affect so many more humble Brits who have chosen to live in France, either full time or part of each year.
"It beggars belief that as many of those seeking a carte de séjour in France struggle to satisfy the many criteria and to assemble the substantial documentation in support of their application, Lord Lawson airily dismisses their concerns, saying he is "not particularly worried. It comes under the category of tiresome rather than serious."