Category Archives: BiE Press Releases

UK Government allocates fund to support UK in EU

The UK Government has today released details of the funds allocated to support UK Nationals in the EU which can be read here.

BRITISH IN EUROPE STATEMENT

Brexit is an unprecedented political and legal event in EU and UK history. Over a million UK nationals live in the EU, EEA and EFTA countries and all of us are affected by Brexit and its consequences. This new legal situation we face is complex and we need advice and assistance in this next phase of Brexit. UK nationals have hundreds of questions relating to the intersection of citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, other parts of EU law and national immigration law.

 “BiE asked the UK government to set up a support fund for UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and EFTA states in 2018. It has been a long wait but at least contracts have now been signed with seven organisations[1] to provide registration assistance to UK nationals in this critical first year of Withdrawal Agreement implementation in the EU and EFTA region,” explains Jane Golding, Co-Chair.

These organisations will be performing a critically important role. Many lives and livelihoods, particularly those of vulnerable and hard to reach UK nationals, will depend on the advice and assistance that they provide. This will be especially true in the countries – around half of EU Member States – where UK nationals are being made to reapply in order to remain. BiE looks forward to receiving more information from the contracted organisations and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the assistance that will be provided and in which countries, although we note that not all of the twenty seven EU countries will be covered[2].

“Effective and meaningful monitoring of the advice provided will be key and we look forward to hearing about the mechanisms that have been put in place to do this over the lifetime of the contracts,” says Fiona Godfrey, Co-Chair. “In some member states, implementation of the citizens’ rights chapter of the Withdrawal Agreement will not start until late 2020 or even 2021.  This will provide very little time to find the people who need to register, especially in the constitutive countries. People cannot be allowed to fall through the cracks, advice must not be wrong and mistakes must not be made: Organisations may get a second chance but hundreds of thousands of UK nationals may not. Lives hang in the balance.”


[1] The AIRE Centre, Age in Spain, Asociación Babelia, Cyprus International Financial Services Association, Franco British Network, International Organisation for Migration, SSAFA

2) To our knowledge, only Spain, France, Germany, Cyprus, Italy, and several other EU countries will be covered.


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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. ’

ENDS

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

Laura Shields
British in Europe
+32 497 409 884 

laura@redthreadeu.com
@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.
www.britishineurope.org

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’.


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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