HOUSE OF LORDS DEBATE ON ACQUIRED RIGHTS : HANSARD TRANSCRIPT
Viscount Waverley (7:47pm) and Baroness Ludford (8.08pm) both referenced the joint response from British in Europe and The 3 Million
Press Release on first day of Brexit negotiations:
TIME FOR THE UK TO MAKE CLEAR ITS POSITION ON CITIZENS’ RIGHTS: THE FUTURE OF 1.2 MILLION UK CITIZENS IS AT STAKE
We, British in Europe, wish David Davis well in the Brexit negotiations with the European Union which start today. We would like to remind him that he and the UK government are also there to represent the 1.2 million UK citizens most directly impacted by Brexit – those who live in the EU and have been in limbo for a year, waiting for talks to start. We expect him to stick to Theresa May’s repeated pledge to make the sorting out of our post-Brexit rights – on the basis of reciprocity – her highest priority.
While the government has been busy in parliament with the Brexit bill and holding elections, British in Europe, the largest coalition of UK citizens in Europe, has been talking directly to the EU negotiators – who have consulted us on their negotiating directives, which they have changed to take on board many of our concerns.
Jane Golding, the Berlin-based Chair of British in Europe, said: “The result is that the EU offer now gives us almost everything we need and abides by a core principle which both sides should respect – that the rights of citizens in place before Brexit (including the 3 million EU citizens in the UK) should remain unchanged. We applaud that, as well as the EU’s transparency in this matter. For the past year Theresa May has repeatedly refused to make a unilateral offer to the 3 million EU citizens in the UK in order, she has said, to protect the rights of the 1.2 million UK citizens in Europe – but we have no detailed information on what that might mean. The EU offer gives plenty of detail and goes almost all the way to guaranteeing all our rights, but everything depends on how the UK decides to respond. We expect the UK, which has said it will be guided by the principle of reciprocity, to respond with similar magnanimity.”
Fiona Godfrey, Luxembourg-based spokesperson for British in Europe, added: “We and the 3 million EU citizens in the UK must not be used as bargaining chips or for political point-scoring. With that in mind, British in Europe also urges Mr Davis to persuade EU negotiator Michel Barnier that an early agreement on our rights and those of the 3 million EU citizens in the UK should be ring-fenced against the possible future failure of the other aspects of the withdrawal agreement. The lack of ring-fencing simply prolongs the uncertainty for up to 5 million UK and EU citizens.”
For social media, please save and share this jpg:
Alternative White Paper: 02. February 2017 – On the eve of the Government’s White Paper publication, UK citizens living in the EU present their ‘UK Citizens in Europe – Towards an Alternative White Paper’.
This is the biggest group of British citizens’ organisations in Europe working together for the first time to call for their serious concerns to be acted on before Article 50 is triggered. The groups represent thousands of British citizens living and working across the continent.
‘UK Citizens in Europe – Towards an Alternative White Paper’ sets out clear concerns about being able to live, work, run a business or study in the European countries where many have made lives for themselves and their families.
Authors, Jane Golding and Jeremy Morgan QC added:
“Following the Supreme Court ruling, UK MPs have both the opportunity and the clear responsibility to make approval of the bill to trigger Article 50 conditional on safeguarding the rights and livelihoods of over a million UK citizens living in Europe (as well as around 3 million EU citizens in the UK). This should happen at the earliest opportunity.” (J.Golding)
“Our paper shows that the complex position of individuals who have moved to another EU country. It is clear that unless all rights are preserved, many people will have no choice but to give up their homes and their lives and return to their country of origin” (J.Morgan)
- The signatories of the Alternative White Paper are:
Brits in Europe (Germany),
- British Community Committee of France,
- Expat Citizen Rights in EU (ECREU) on behalf of 6,000 members from 25 EU Countries (France),
- Fair Deal for Expats (France),
- RIFT (Remain in France Together)
- Brexpats Hear our Voice (Belgium)
- British in Italy,
- Bremain in Spain EuroCitizens (Spain)
- New Europeans (UK)
Brits in Europe supports the petition request from What’s the Plan: www.whatstheplan.uk
04 December 2016, for further information see Guardian article
The Government has said it will trigger Article 50 before the end of March and yet it has so far failed to produce a plan. The resulting uncertainty is damaging the economy and preventing the country from uniting behind the result of the referendum.
The Government must now spell out its priorities for its negotiations with our EU partners and for change in the UK post-Brexit. Millions of peoples’ lives and business decisions are on hold waiting for such a plan.
Instead of relying on leaked memos and long distance photos, we ask that the Government present a plan that answers our 10 questions, so that Parliament and the public has a chance of a proper debate on our country’s future.
Brits in Europe statement for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Free Movement
Published and endorsed by ECREU on 19th of October 2016
In addition to a general goal of lobbying to ensure that proper democratic process is followed post the vote, and that Parliament is involved throughout, our group:
- supports the UK’s continuing access to the EU single market to secure the jobs and livelihoods of working people, whether in the UK or UK citizens in the EU;
- seeks the guarantee of existing rights of UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK to live, work, and own property in the EU and the UK, including rights to healthcare, welfare and other social security rights;
- seeks government representation of the interests of UK nationals abroad and EU nationals in the UK.
Specific concerns of our members as regards the rights of UK citizens in other EU countries include (some of these issues will equally be applicable to EU citizens in the UK, especially point i)):
i) Residency rights, as well as the right to work, and right of establishment, whether as an employee or self-employed person, for UK nationals currently resident and working in other EU countries. Linked to this, the current system of mutual recognition of professional qualifications should be guaranteed post any Brexit.
ii) Health cover for UK pensioners and whether this will still be covered by the local health authorities back-charging the NHS, including health costs for elderly parents joining their children living in the EU (note that, outside the EU, e.g. in Australia, this can raise significant difficulties for families).
iii) Pension rights for UK pensioners and the guarantee that such pensioners will continue to receive annual increases and fuel allowances post any Brexit.
iv) The rights of children of UK citizens living in other EU countries, e.g. to live, study, work and vote in the UK.
v) Residency rights for non-EU spouses of UK nationals resident in other EU countries.
Find out more about APPG on free movement here.