France has approved a parliamentary bill that would guarantee the residence, employment and welfare rights of the 160,000 resident British citizens living there, as long as the same guarantees are given to French expatriates in the UK.
According to a report in The Times newspaper, Nathalie Loiseau, the Europe minister, said that France would offer the guarantee for expatriates and detailed plans for handling a no-deal Brexit with additional measures to ease queues at Channel ports as part of the deal.
French parliament approved a bill last week that allows the government to take emergency measures by decree with the aim of "protecting our national interests and those of our fellow citizens", which would allow the changes to be made.
A hard Brexit would be "extremely costly" for Britain, Loiseau added. The impact would be less severe in France although a negotiated departure was "infinitely preferable", The Times report said.
The 2011 UK Census recorded 137,862 French-born people living in the UK. Almost half of these were resident in the capital, London.