Category Archives: BiE Press Releases

Press Release – End of Free Movement

BERLIN – Responding to the ongoing speculation about a no-deal Brexit and how a UK decision to unilaterally end free movement on 31st October could affect British nationals living in the EU 27 Jane Golding, Co-Chair of British in Europe said:

‘People have never been the real priority in the Brexit negotiations despite what both sides claimed.  And it has always been about reciprocity. Theresa May didn’t accept the EU’s first comprehensive offer on citizens’ rights, and didn’t push hard for free movement, which is key for most of the 80% of us who are working age or younger. Instead she made a counter-offer because she was obsessed with reducing the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.  It was at this point that the bargaining away of our rights and lives began.

So the deal on citizens’ rights was far from perfect but nothing compared to no deal.  And a number of countries, including France, Spain and Germany, with some of the largest populations of UK citizens, have reciprocity clauses in their no-deal contingency legislation.  Other countries haven’t decided yet what our long-term status will be post a grace period.   So, the treatment of British citizens in the EU (understandably) depends on how their own citizens are treated in the UK.

If the EU 27 see their nationals being treated badly by the UK government, they  are likely to reciprocate. Attitudes could harden – and even if they don’t, the EU 27 could simply adopt a wait and see attitude, which just means more uncertainty. ’


For more information or to arrange an interview or comment please contact:

Laura Shields
British in Europe
+32 497 409 884
@mediawhizz @britishineurope


British in Europe is the largest coalition group of British citizens living and working in Europe.  It is comprised of ten core groups across the continent representing a membership of around 35.000 Brits working together to stand up for the rights of UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK.

Raab appointment as Secretary of State for DExEU

Responding to the appointment of Dominic Raab as Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Jane Golding, Chair of British in Europe said:

‘If Mr Raab wishes to stamp his own mark on this new job from Day One he could differentiate himself from David Davis by inviting British in Europe and the3million to a meeting to discuss what Brexit means for the 4.6mn people directly and immediately affected by it. Continue reading Raab appointment as Secretary of State for DExEU

Response to Sajid Javid

21 JUNE – In response to UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid’s call for the EU 27 to publish more detail on its post-Brexit registration plans for UK citizens living on the continent, Jane Golding, Chair of British in Europe said:

‘Obviously, we welcome any interest from the UK government when it comes to fighting the corner of its 1.2 mn British nationals living on the continent.

However, as Mary Berry might have said: this display of concern from the British Government is a bit late and a bit rich. What the Home Secretary appears not to realise is that it is the UK government that has thrown its own nationals in Europe into this uncertainty by insisting on introducing settled status for EU citizens in the UK so that it became an option for us in the EU 27 in December’s last-minute deal.

The EU 27 was not interested in settled status up until then.

Furthermore, Mr Javid seems to be asking all the wrong questions. Rather than asking what systems the EU 27 are planning to set up he should know by now that the current registration systems across the EU27 are largely working well and that it is only France – along with the UK- that doesn’t require some form of registration for EU citizens. As such, he should be asking what the EU 27 is planning to do to tweak existing systems, rather than setting up new ones.

Perhaps Mr Javid, Mr Davis and Mrs May could come and talk to us about what people on the ground actually need rather than simply deciding what’s best for them.

If they did, they would also know that free movement remains a huge issue for British people on the continent. With 80% of Brits in the EU 27 working age or younger, many of us rely on it for work and to keep our families together. We need Mrs May to put it back on the table at next week’s summit as part of the withdrawal agreement. We think it would be an easy win for her and it would put people back at the heart of Brexit: helping her to meet one of her key negotiation objectives’.

For additional comments and interviews – contact us or tweet @BritishInEurope or @mediawhizz.

BiE Response to Agreed Legal Text

Brexit withdrawal agreement: English Cheddar will have more free movement rights than Brits in Europe

The European Commission has published the agreed legal text for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

In response, Jane Golding, Chair of British in Europe said:

‘Contrary to what David Davis and Michel Barnier are saying, this document provides no more certainty for the 1.2mn British people living in the EU 27, EEA and Switzerland than they had this morning. Continue reading BiE Response to Agreed Legal Text