Category Archives: BiE Publications

The Internal Market Bill – BiE’s statement

Following the extraordinary events in the UK Parliament this week we have, along with the3million, published a statement calling for the PM to give a statement in the House confirming that the UK will honour all its commitments to EU citizens in the UK and to its own citizens in the EU.

Read the statement in full here. The text is below.

 

British in Europe and the3million were dismayed to hear the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland stand up in the House of Commons on 8 September to confirm that it is the UK’s intention
to break international law and breach the agreed and ratified terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol and to see that confirmed in the Internal Market bill published on 9 September.

The most immediate impact of this announcement will of course be felt in the island of Ireland, North and South, where it has given rise to all sorts of concerns including as to the possibility of
renewed violence. As a coalition of citizens’ groups, British in Europe, and the3million, the largest grassroots organisation representing EU citizens in the UK, we would like to express our solidarity with the citizens of all Ireland in the face of this dangerous volte -face.

However, we would also like to draw attention to the knock-on effect the announcement may well have for those whom we represent.

After Theresa May rejected, before the start of the Withdrawal Agreement negotiations, the option simply to confirm automatically the existing rights of over 5 million EU and UK citizens
living in the UK and the EU, this group of 5 million people have been anxiously waiting to know whether they would be able to continue to live their lives with their families and their livelihoods
in the countries where they reside. Together we have spent four years in limbo, with the spectre of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on citizens’ rights lasting until the end of last year.

In January 2020 we finally hoped that the signature and the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement meant that our worst fears would not be realised and that we would at least salvage
enough of our rights to live our lives broadly as before and have relative certainty about what those rights would be.

We knew that implementation would be challenging in all 30 EU and EEA countries plus Switzerland but hoped that with good faith on both sides most of us would finally have some peace of mind about our futures by the end of 2021 at the latest.

It appears that this hope was naïve. With this simple but devastating statement in the House of Commons and the publication of the draft bill, all certainty has vanished.

Since Sunday night we have been receiving anxious enquiries from our members about what a breach of the Northern Ireland Protocol could mean for the implementation of the citizens’ rights chapter of the Withdrawal Agreement and for their futures.

It is particularly worrying for the hundreds of thousands of UK nationals living in the EU member states which are following the UK’s lead and requiring them to reapply for their status and rights
– especially where implementation has not started. France, home to the second largest population of UK nationals in the EU, falls into this category.

In the UK, the3million has been encouraging EU citizens to apply for status via the EU settlement scheme believing their right to live, work and access services in the UK to be secure. The UK
government risks further eroding the trust that EU citizens have in the safety that settled status will provide them.

The statement in the House of Commons and the published bill send a clear message to the EU that if the UK does not intend to honour one critical part of the Withdrawal Agreement, it cannot be trusted to implement other parts of the Agreement, including on citizens’ rights. The calls that followed from some Conservative MPs for the Agreement to be scrapped reinforced that message. The Member States will rightly now question whether the UK will honour its
obligations towards over three million EU citizens living within its borders. Levels of trust were already low but this unprecedented act of bad faith towards our nearest neighbours and
partners throws 1.2 million UK nationals living in the EU under the bus yet again. The extent to which trust has been undermined by the UK government’s actions this week is clear in the very
frank statement from Commission Vice-President Šefčovič on 10 September.

By putting forward this Bill, the UK has seriously damaged trust between the EU and the UK.

Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the worst economic recession in fifty years was bad enough. Dealing with the consequences of the actions of a government that acts with no regard for the security of its nationals abroad, nor apparently for the rule of law, will be infinitely worse.

We now ask Prime Minister Johnson to do the decent thing and make an urgent statement in the House confirming that the UK will honour its obligations towards EU nationals in the UK and its own citizens living in the EU in the full spirit and to the letter of the Withdrawal Agreement.

We appreciate that any statement by the Prime Minister would now count for very little. The statement by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the publication of the draft internal
market bill cannot be undone. However, as the EU pointed out in its statement yesterday, “it is now up to the UK government to re-establish… trust.”

Confirming that the UK will honour all its commitments under the citizens’ rights chapter of the Withdrawal Agreement would be a start to that process and should be done as a matter of
urgency.

We also call on EU countriesto stand by their obligations to us under the Withdrawal Agreement, and thereby reaffirm the importance of the rule of law and of honouring the promises that were
made to us. Together, both of our organisations shall continue to press the UK government to show that the UK still stands for decency by keeping its word and honouring its obligations to
citizens in full.

The Guidance Note – Part 2: Families & Dual Nationals

In May 2020, the European Commission published the Guidance Note to be used by national authorities in conjunction with the  Withdrawal Agreement. The Guidance Note will help make sure that the Citizens’ Rights chapter of the Withdrawal Agreement is implemented correctly.

Here at British in Europe, we recognise that the vital information contained within the 57-page document is not easy to understand for many of us and therefore our team have been hard at work creating a series of easy-to-read guides much as we did for our easy to digest guides to the Withdrawal Agreement earlier in the year.

This is the second of the series of three guides focusing on Family Members, Family Reunification, and Dual Nationals.

The first on Residence Rights can be read here.

The final guide will cover Pensions Healthcare and Social Security.

For easy reading, click the [  ] in the bottom right to enter full screen.

 

If you find our guides useful, donate to British in Europe. We need your financial support to continue with our advocacy and information provision.

You can download an A4 pdf copy of the guide here.


PLEASE NOTE: This information has been provided to help individuals better understand the Withdrawal Agreement. If you represent a public or private organisation which wishes to use this material, please contact us. All materials are subject to copyright.

 

The Guidance Note – Part 1: Residence Rights & Procedures

In May 2020, the European Commission published the Guidance Note to be used by national authorities in conjunction with the  Withdrawal Agreement. The Guidance Note will help make sure that the Citizens’ Rights chapter of the Withdrawal Agreement is implemented correctly.

Here at British in Europe, we recognise that the vital information contained within the 57-page document is not easy to understand for many of us and therefore our team have been hard at work creating a series of easy-to-read guides much as we did for our easy to digest guides to the Withdrawal Agreement earlier in the year.

This is the first of the series of three guides focusing on Residence Rights and Procedures. Future guides will look at:

  • Family Members, Family Reunification, and dual nationals, and
  • Pensions Healthcare and Social Security

For easy reading, click the [  ] in the bottom right to enter full screen.

If you find our guides useful, donate to British in Europe. We need your financial support to continue with our advocacy and information provision.

You can download an A4 pdf copy of the guide here.


PLEASE NOTE: This information has been provided to help individuals better understand the Withdrawal Agreement. If you represent a public or private organisation which wishes to use this material, please contact us. All materials are subject to copyright.

 

Comments on the Commission Implementing Decision

On 4 March 2020, Jane Golding and Jeremy Morgan, QC, compiled the attached paper on behalf of British in Europe commenting on the Commission Implementing Decision of 21 February 2020. It has been sent to the Task Force unit responsible for Citizens’ Rights and will be circulated to other interested parties.

“As a prescribed document intended “to evidence rights provided under Title II of the Agreement” the proposed format fails to include an essential element, namely whether or not the holder has the status of permanent residence.”

This has important ramifications as laid out in the paper.

Read the paper in full here.


FROM OUR STEERING TEAM

Please donate to our crowdfunder so we can continue to hold all parties to account as the Withdrawal Agreement is implemented. The devil is in the detail and we need our legal team to be on top of these details at all times. This can only happen with YOUR help.

The announcement by the Commission on the format was lauded by many as a great step forward, some people mistakenly believed it gave additional rights. We need experts who understand the implications of the details to review every decision made and call out when they are lacking.



Withdrawal Agreement: BiE Guides 1-6

British in Europe is the organisation of reference on citizens’ rights for UK nationals in the EU. Since 2017 we have been recognised by the British government, the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament as trusted interlocutors, meeting secretaries of state, ministers in member states and key EU and British officials. Our ten-person Steering Team has campaigned jointly with the3million, which represents EU27 citizens in the UK. Together, we have pressed to keep our existing rights and to prevent Brexit from destroying the lives and families we have created whilst exercising those rights.

With our legal expertise and our grassroots understanding we are in a unique position to explain the detail held within the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) on Citizens’ Rights. We provide this information to all, free of charge, because we believe that everyone should understand their rights and what the real impact of the WA will be on those of us who live in the EU and our families. However, we do not receive any funding and so we ask everyone who finds our advocacy and information provision helpful to support us with a donation.

Following the publication of the WA, BiE issued a series of explanatory guides which are free to read and download. These are legally checked and written in language that we can all understand. There are 6 in total which can be read below:

1) Introduction to the WA

2) Residence rights and procedures

3) Health care, pensions and social security

4) Working rights, professional qualifications and family reunification

5) What’s not covered by the WA

6) Frequently asked questions

 

 

 

 

 

WA part 6 – FAQs

The Withdrawal Agreement

Frequently Asked Questions 

This is the final article (of a total of 6 articles) in British in Europe’s information campaign about the Withdrawal Agreement and how it affects you as a British citizen living in an EU country.

In this article we take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about our rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. We’ll update it in the weeks to come to add new questions as they arise.

The first article in the series covered what the Withdrawal Agreement is (and what it isn’t), what it does, how it’s different from the no deal legislation that your host country will have produced, and who it covers. You can read it here.

The second article covered residence rights and procedures. You can read it here.

The third article covered health care, pensions and social security. You can read it here.

The fourth article covered working rights, professional qualifications and future family reunification. You can read it here.

The fifth article outlined what the Withdrawal Agreement doesn’t cover. You can read it here.

WE ARE IN URGENT NEED OF FUNDS TO CONTINUE OUR VITAL WORK. PLEASE DONATE TO OUR FUNDRAISER SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE TRANSITION PHASE. 

For easy reading, click the [ ] in the bottom right to enter full screen.

You can download a pdf of  the full document HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: This information has been provided to help individuals better understand the Withdrawal Agreement. If you represent a public or private organisation which wishes to use this material, please contact us.

WA part 5 – What’s NOT Covered

The Withdrawal Agreement

What’s Not Covered

This is the fifth article (of a total of 6 articles) in British in Europe’s January 2020 information campaign about the Withdrawal Agreement and how it affects you as a British citizen living in an EU country.

In this article we take a look at what is not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

The final article will cover the most frequently asked questions.

The first article in the series covered what the Withdrawal Agreement is (and what it isn’t), what it does, how it’s different from the no deal legislation that your host country will have produced, and who it covers. You can read it here.

The second article covered residence rights and procedures. You can read it here.

The third article covered health care, pensions and social security. You can read it here.

The fourth article covered working rights, professional qualifications and future family reunification. You can read it here.

WE ARE IN URGENT NEED OF FUNDS TO CONTINUE OUR VITAL WORK. PLEASE DONATE TO OUR FUNDRAISER SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE TRANSITION PHASE. 

For easy reading, click the [ ] in the bottom right to enter full screen.

You can download a pdf of  the full document HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: This information has been provided to help individuals better understand the Withdrawal Agreement. If you represent a public or private organisation which wishes to use this material, please contact us.

 

 

WA part 4 – Working Rights, Professional Qualifications and Future Family Reunification

The Withdrawal Agreement

Working Rights, Professional Qualifications
and Future Family Reunification

This is the fourth article (of a total of 6 articles) in British in Europe’s January 2020 information campaign about the Withdrawal Agreement and how it affects you as a British citizen living in an EU country.

In this article we take a look at what the Withdrawal Agreement has to say about working rights, professional qualifications and future family reunification.

  • The following articles will look at
  • What’s not covered by the WA;
  • Frequently asked questions.

The first article in the series covered what the Withdrawal Agreement is (and what it isn’t), what it does, how it’s different from the no deal legislation that your host country will have produced, and who it covers. You can read it here.

The second article covered residence rights and procedures. You can read it here.

The third article covered health care, pensions and social security. You can read it here.

WE ARE IN URGENT NEED OF FUNDS TO CONTINUE OUR VITAL WORK. PLEASE DONATE TO OUR FUNDRAISER SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE TRANSITION PHASE. 

For easy reading, click the [ ] in the bottom right to enter full screen.

You can download a pdf of  the full document HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: This information has been provided to help individuals better understand the Withdrawal Agreement. If you represent a public or private organisation which wishes to use this material, please contact us.

WA part 3 – Health, Pensions and Social Security

The Withdrawal Agreement

Part 3: Health, Pensions and Social Security

This is the third article (of a total of 6 articles) in British in Europe’s January 2020 information campaign about the Withdrawal Agreement and how it affects you as a British citizen living in an EU country.

In this article we take a look at what the Withdrawal Agreement has to say about health care, pensions and social security. You should note that the personal scope or people covered by the social security, healthcare and pensions provisions is different to that for the rest of the Withdrawal Agreement. Everyone entitled to residence rights under the WA is covered, as well as dual nationals, but the group of people covered is wider than that.

The following articles will look at

  • Working rights, professional qualifications and family reunification;
  • What’s not covered by the WA;
  • Frequently asked questions.

The first article in the series covered what the Withdrawal Agreement is (and what it isn’t), what it does, how it’s different from the no deal legislation that your host country will have produced, and who it covers. You can read it here.

The second article covered residence rights and procedures. You can read it here.

WE ARE IN URGENT NEED OF FUNDS TO CONTINUE OUR VITAL WORK. PLEASE DONATE TO OUR FUNDRAISER SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE TRANSITION PHASE. 

For easy reading, click the [ ] in the bottom right to enter full screen.

You can download a pdf of  the full document HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: This information has been provided to help individuals better understand the Withdrawal Agreement. If you represent a public or private organisation which wishes to use this material, please contact us.