Category Archives: Campaign News

#DeniedMyVote – Follow up guide

DENIED YOUR VOTE IN THE EU ELECTIONS IN THE UK? Read this legal guide on how to sue.

If you are one of the many people who was unable to vote in the UK in the EU elections (but not because of the 15 year rule) and would like to consider suing those responsible, look at this guide on how to sue. It was commissioned by British in Europe from Bindmans Solicitors and was paid for from the money raised by crowd funding to investigate possible litigation (as well as a generous helping of Bindmans’ time that was given free). Continue reading #DeniedMyVote – Follow up guide

Response to BiE from Ben Macpherson

On 28 August Jeremy Morgan and Mireille Pouget of the3million met Ben Macpherson, the Scottish Government Minister for Europe, to discuss citizens’ rights for EU citizens in Scotland and Britons in Europe. The Scottish government has been open to the problems both of EU citizens living there and of Scottish (and other UK) citizens in the EU. The meeting was productive and Ben promised to follow up on several points.

Read his detailed response HERE.

#DeniedMyVote: Letter to the European Commission

Following the #DeniedMyVote campaign which many of you supported,  we promised to call upon the European Commission to add the experience of UK citizens in the EU27 to the investigation they have already initiated into the problems EU citizens had voting in the UK, and to press for a proper inquiry in the UK itself.

The detailed letter sent to  Vĕra Jourová, EU Commissioner (Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality), on our behalf by Bindmans LLP can be read here in full.

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Edition: 09 September 2019

Dear Briton in Europe,

On Friday 29 August the BiE steering group met at the UNISON building in London, the first time we have all been physically together in one place for over a year. Our first priority was to review how, and indeed whether, we can continue to operate going forward, particularly from January 2020 onwards. The current steering committee members have contributed their professional skills on a voluntary basis for almost three years now. This has involved many hours and personal and pecuniary sacrifices that will not be sustainable for much longer.

At our one-day meeting we made a good start to the reappraisal of our future. Our plan is to continue full steam ahead with advocacy over the next three or four months, at the same time as we thrash out options for the coalition’s future. There are a series of variables like funding and whether or not there is another extension. For example, if Brexit does go ahead on Halloween, our role as a campaigning group for citizens’ rights would morph towards monitoring the implementation of national contingency plans or, in a better scenario, the citizens’ rights section of a Withdrawal Agreement….

>> READ IN FULL HERE

Read our preious newsletters in our archive

the3million to take legal action

A great number of you supported our CrowdJustice appeal which enabled us to research and analyse well over 1,600 individual cases of citizens on both sides of the Channel who were denied their vote. We used our findings to get advice from our expert public law practitioners.

Following this advice British in Europe, as explained below, will not pursue further action at this stage. However, the3million will go ahead to start legal proceedings against the Government. You can support them and donate to their new appeal.  They need to fundraise another £65,000 in order to issue the claim by mid July 2019 and seek permission from the High Court to proceed to a full hearing.

A message from British in Europe

British in Europe wishes their sister organisation the3million every success with their legal claim although, with great regret, we will not be taking the claim for British citizens any further. We worked with the3million to raise the money to investigate the claims of both groups and to get legal advice on their prospects. A great deal of effort by BiE in a very short time went into two surveys of UK nationals living in the EU27 who wanted to vote in the UK, and these revealed that they faced widespread difficulties and that, as we thought, a great many people were unlawfully denied their right to vote.

Together with the3million we consulted solicitors and had a meeting with a QC and junior counsel. Unfortunately our legal advice was that, although individuals who did everything correctly to be able to vote but were unable to do so may well have a claim against the authorities charged with administering the election in their constituencies, there are important differences between any claim brought against the Government by, on the one hand, EU citizens deprived of a vote in the UK and, on the other, EU27-based UK citizens with similar experiences. As a result our claim would need to be brought against a number of separate public authorities and would be legally more difficult to win.

We are really grateful to everyone who contributed their hard-earned cash to enable us to investigate the claim, but we would not want to ask you to contribute more to a claim which might well not succeed and which would expose the claimants to costs risks of litigating against several public authorities.

However, your contributions will not be wasted. The survey evidence and detailed analysis of the law we obtained will help us to call upon the European Commission to add the experience of UK citizens in the EU27 to the investigation they have already initiated into the problems EU citizens had voting in the UK, and to press for a proper inquiry in the UK itself. And many of the problems for us arise not just in EU elections but in all UK votes, and add insult to the injury of the 15 year rule. Thus we will also be pursuing a political campaign to try to change electoral law as well as Electoral Commission regulations.

We have also asked our solicitors, Bindmans, to prepare a short “Do it yourself” guide to the small claims court for anyone deprived of a vote who wishes to make a claim against the electoral authorities in their constituency or to pursue individual complaints. We will publish that as soon as possible.

Finally, we do not yet know precisely how much will be left over from our share of the money raised through crowd funding for the first phase – we are working this out with the3million and our lawyers – but we will let you know what is going to happen to it as soon as we can. Under CrowdJustice’s unused funds policy, we hope to be able to use it to take forward British in Europe’s important campaigning work on electoral law reform and other issues.

June Newsletter

Buckling our seat belts for more of the Brexit roller coaster…

Dear UK citizen in Europe,

After the adrenaline-pumping drama of ‘the Brexit Day that wasn’t‘, we felt enormous relief at just still being European citizens. That was followed by the sinking feeling that we all have at least another six months trapped on the Brexit roller coaster. As an organisation, we have bounced back, buckled our seat belts and got back to work. To start with, we have produced a mission statement (see below), outlining what we can realistically do for Britons in the EU in the medium-term unless we are able to obtain significant funding. …

Read in full here