Category Archives: British in Europe

Pro Europa Founder Sir Julian Priestley sadly passes away

Message from chair of Pro Europa Martin Bailey.  Published with the permission of Pro Europa.

 

Dear Pro Europa supporters,

I am very sad to report the passing of Pro Europa’s founder, Sir Julian Priestley. Even though he had been battling with serious illness for some time, it has come as an enormous shock.

 

To many of us, he was a friend, a mentor, an inspiration; but however we knew him, he was to all of us Europhiles one of the great men of Europe, someone who confounded every prejudice of every Eurosceptic, Europhobe or any other brand of anti-European.

 

He devoted his entire professional life to the European project, and so richly deserved his knighthood for his services to Europe. And it is to Julian that we owe the existence of Pro Europa, and its many achievements.

 

I had the pleasure to work closely with Julian over the past years, a time of collaboration in which we became close personal friends. If there is one quality that most sets Julian apart from his peers, it is his personal and professional bravery. He was never the craven bureaucrat, never shied from standing up for the weak and never failed to speak truth to power. In many private conversations, as well as in displays of public oratory, he lamented the cowardice and handwringing of politicians and bureaucrats, who hid under the political bedclothes from the demons that threatened them.

 

For us members of Pro Europa, we pay tribute to Julian’s lifelong work for the European project. If I know him well, he would be telling us to keep on fighting, keep on making the arguments, keep on sticking our heads above the parapet, and now more than ever in these turbulent times. A light has gone out, but it is for us to be the new guardians of the flame that in his memory will forever burn brightly.

Our thoughts now go to his partner of over 30 years, Jean Schons, whom he recently married in 2015.

 

We will miss you Julian.

 

On behalf of Pro Europa,

Martin Bailey, Chair

Press Release: Meet with UK Government in Madrid

British in Europe Press Release after Madrid Meeting on April 19

 The British in Europe coalition is pleased to have had high level contact with the UK government to discuss the post-Brexit rights of more than one million UK citizens living in the EU. At a meeting in Madrid on Wednesday British in Europe representatives – who come from a dozen UK citizens groups across the EU – informed the government of the difficulties faced by many people as a result of Brexit and urged it to back our call for all current rights to be conserved.

We will continue to exchange information and put forward case studies that illustrate the extremely complex and intertwined nature of the rights we currently enjoy. We were very pleased to have opened what should now become a constant dialogue between the government and the largest coalition of UK citizens groups in the EU.

 British in Europe urged the government to abide by the governing principle contained in our Alternative White Paper, which asks all sides in the upcoming negotiations to first agree that “the UK’s withdrawal from the EU should not have retrospective effect on individuals” and that “UK citizens currently resident in the EU and EU citizens currently resident in the UK should be expressly treated as continuing to have the same rights as they had before Brexit”. 

 British in Europe also called on the government to explicitly promise UK pensioners living in the EU that those pensions will continue to be updated after Brexit. This is a unilateral matter for the UK government and we are hopeful that it will soon publicly state its position on this matter. Hundreds of thousands of UK pensioners have been left to worry about this for too long. We will also be increasing pressure on EU negotiators and governments to change their position so that an agreement on our rights – and those of 3 million EU citizens in the UK – can be ring-fenced and will stand if there is no wider agreement. Refusal to go down this road amounts to using us all as bargaining chips.

 With elections now on the horizon, British in Europe is calling for all parties to include the governing principle for Brexit negotiations in their manifestos. This reads: “The UK’s withdrawal from the EU should not have retrospective effect on individuals. UK citizens currently resident in the EU and EU citizens currently resident in the UK should be expressly treated as continuing to have the same rights as they had before Brexit. This is not confined to a right of continued residence but extends to all related rights such as the acquisition of citizenship, the right to continue to work, whether employed or self-employed, or run a business, recognition of qualifications, right to study, right of equal treatment, right to move between and work freely across all EU countries without loss or change of any existing EU rights, the right to healthcare, pensions, social benefits/social assistance etc. In short, the full complex of indivisible EU citizenship rights that they currently have should be guaranteed for these individuals.”

For further information or interview request contact Giles Tremlett: giles.tremlett@gmail.com

Report on Brexit countdown event in Munich 27th March 2017

70 British residents of Munich and the surrounding area came together on 27th March evening to review their options on the eve of Article 50 being triggered on the 29th March.  (Photos of event below) The event aimed to provide information and an opportunity for all Brits living in the area to discuss the prospect of Brexit and the impact it may have on British citizens living in Germany.  David Hole (solicitor and Rechtsanwalt) detailed the rights possibly at risk and potential scenarios. Ingrid Taylor (translator and teacher of German) reported on the work of the British in Europe Coalition, and set out what was involved in applying for German citizenship.  Taylor said:

The urgency in submitting citizenship applications soon must be underlined, as the waiting time in Munich to get an appointment to hand in the completed application is 8 months. It then takes the authorities a further 6 – 9 months to process the application. The clock is therefore ticking for those who want to obtain German citizenship ahead of Brexit and still retain their UK citizenship, i.e. dual citizenship. After Brexit, it is unlikely that both will be possible; it will be one or the other

Due to the level of interest a second Brexit Countdown Event is being held in Munich on Monday, April 3rd.  See details below:

David Hole and Ingrid Taylor – Organisers of the Munich meeting

 

 

 

 

1000s march across Europe to ‘Unite for Europe’

The greatest ever number of European citizens have come together  across Europe in one weekend to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and mark their support for the future of the European Union.

Below photos of British in Europe coalition members attending marches in Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Paris and London.  (please send in more and we’ll put more up)

ROME:

Gareth Horsfall and wife Shahla Ahmadi at Rome demo
Etsuko Yamanaka – British in Italy march organiser
Jeremy Morgan and Delia Dumaresq – British in Italy committee members
Peter and Trudy Read – UK Nationals living in Tuscany

Rome ©Jon Worth
Rome © Jon Worth
Rome © Jon Worth
Rome © Jon Worth
Rome © Jon Worth
Rome © Jon Worth
Rome © Jon Worth

MADRID:

Madrid Rally © Giles Tremlett

BERLIN:

EU KNOW BERLIN! © D.Tetlow

 

 

AROUND 5000 PEOPLE GATHERED IN BERLIN TO ‘UNITE FOR EUROPE’ © D.Tetlow
Mark Whiley, representing Forward Britain in Germany and member of British in Europe © Mark Whiley
© Mark Whiley

LONDON:

In respect and remembrance

 

© Sandor Hatvany
Parliament Square © Sandor Hatvany

The Unite for Europe march tomorrow in London is on!

The European Movement amongst others raised legitimate concerns yesterday about the advisability of holding the Unite for Europe March after Wednesday’s terrorist attack, but we wish to confirm that the organisers have decided that the march should proceed. 

We encourage any member who participates in the march to join in homage to the dead and injured from the Westminster outrage – and recall that the EU is united in its commitment to stand against terrorism.

British in Europe coalition and 3 million group to meet Michel Barnier on 28 March

5 representatives of the citizen organisations British in Europe and the 3million group have been invited on 28 March by chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier for informal discussions before Article 50 is triggered by the British Government.

Nicolas Hatton, founder of the3million, said:

This raises the possibility of an early deal to secure our rights, which makes me really hopeful about the future.”

Jane Golding from British in Europe, the coalition of 12 citizens groups in the EU, said:

We are pleased he wishes to engage with us, and will be asking him to seek a rapid solution based on maintaining the existing rights of 4 million people – including the 3 million EU citizens now resident in the UK – currently trapped in Brexit limbo.”

The meeting will take place in Brussels on 28th March and updates from the meeting will follow..

Press coverage:

The Guardian Newspaper 17th March 2017

 

Expat Testimonial & Call For Action

 I was an ex-pat for 9 years including 7 working in Benelux, and have spent most of my career working in international teams.  I welcome our valued EU friends in the UK,  and  I agree with your approach. My slogan is:

We Lost the Vote, but We Can Still Win the Terms

Now in the months up to March 2017,  strong political pressure on specific, factual issues from the general public and interest groups such as British ex-pats is vital: to stir up public indignation at the loss of their rights & to give backbone to the “weak Remainer” majority of Conservative MP’s to limit the damage of Brexit, so forcing the UK Govt. to preserve as many current benefits of EU membership as possible in their negotiation terms.

As well as direct lobbying, one way this pressure can be focussed is by promoting UK Parliamentary Petitions that aim to protect UK ex-pats, EU expats in UK, Freedom of Movement and the Single Market in general. Any UK citizen anywhere, and any UK resident of any nationality, without age limits, can sign these. At 10,000 signatures, the Govt. must answer. At 100, 000 signatures, Parliament must debate the issue.

Please add a page listing relevant open Petitions, whether UK Parliamentary, EU, change.org or other.

I recommend several UK Parliamentary Petitions, the first deriving from my question during the campaign “Why are the Brexiteers so willing to sign away the rights of the British people ?”:

  • “Preserve all existing rights of UK citizens to Freedom of Movement in the EU” sign here 

2nd, to include protecting our valued friends the EU citizens who are ex-pats in the UK:

  • “Keep the Free Movement of People Between the UK and the EU” sign here 

Then on specific ex-pat issues:

  • “On BREXIT British expatriates should retain their healthcare within the EU” sign here 
  • “Maintain Pension increases for British pensioners living in the EU.” sign here 
  • “Let Parliament decide whether or not we remain a member of the European Union”sign here, which needs mass support to thwart Mrs May’s plans to by-pass Parliament in calling Article 50.

Finally, why not,

  • “Recognise Brexit is too costly, cancel and prioritise spending on the NHS” sign here 

The public should be asking: which MP’s will sign away our rights ?

Yours,

Jim Carter

London Borough of Harrow

Lisa, Mijas, SPAIN

Lisa, 44 years old, is a consultant in Mijas, advising new British expatriates on the best ways to make a life and living in Spain. She works in an office in her garden from where she can watch her children play.

To hear more about how Brexit will affect Lisa’s life contact us here

These photographs of everyday Brits in Europe are part of a collaboration with the photographer Charlie Clift and his acclaimed exhibition Brits in Europe.  For further information go to BritsinEurope.com

KATHRYN, VENICE, ITALY

Kathryn, 66 years of age, plays the fairy in the Venice pantomime that is put on every two years. She spends her winters in Venice and her summers in Yorkshire. She likes the anonymity that living in a different country brings.

To hear more about how Brexit will affect Kathryn’s life contact us here

*These photographs of everyday European Brits are part of a collaboration with the photographer Charlie Clift.  For further information on his acclaimed exhibition go to BritsinEurope.com