Category Archives: News

Make your vote count in the European Elections

YOUR VOTE IN THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 

We are still EU citizens with our full political rights and can still vote in the European elections – make your vote count in these critical elections

Unless the UK Parliament passes a deal to leave the EU before 22 May, UK nationals will be able to vote and stand in the elections for the European Parliament held at the end of May. Continue reading Make your vote count in the European Elections

Save our Rights – stop our uncertainty

Citizens’ rights groups tell heads of state to save their rights

Citizens’ rights organisations British in Europe and the3million who represent the five million people most directly affected by Brexit demand an immediate end to crippling legal uncertainty in the wake of an agreed extension to the Brexit process until 31 October.

While the Withdrawal Agreement on citizens’ rights has been gathering dust for over a year all 28 EU member states are busy making their own, widely differing preparations on how to treat the five million people who have crossed the Channel to live in another EU country.

These five million people demand an urgent explanation as to why EEA EFTA and Swiss citizens already have security about their rights, but they do not. They also plead with the EU to not waste the hard work that went into agreeing citizens’ rights and uphold them even in case of no deal.

Maike Bohn, co-founder of the3million – which represents the 3.6 million EU 27 citizens living in the UK – said:

‘This extension does not guarantee that there will actually be a deal. Citizens’ rights – the bit of Brexit that affects five million real people’s lives on day one – were agreed between the UK and EU in December 2017. Yet a year and a half later we still don’t know whether the agreement is worth the paper it’s written on. This means five million people still can’t be sure of the rights that will determine whether they will have jobs, study opportunities, healthcare and the ability to keep their families together in future.

It would be utter madness to risk throwing these painstakingly negotiated rights into the bin.’

It is unlikely that any post-no-deal-Brexit agreement on citizens’ rights would have the same scope and rights as the Citizens’ Rights part of the Withdrawal Agreement – and it could take years to negotiate.

The current EU no-deal contingency plans for British citizens in the EU amount to little more than calling on Member States to ‘be generous’. This approach also leaves the 3,6 million EU citizens in the UK at the mercy of the UK government, which has already announced that their rights will be cut in a no-deal scenario. Without the protection of an international treaty, future British governments will be free to reduce these rights even further. In addition, the campaign groups argue that dealing with areas like healthcare, pensions and social security will require a coordinated approach at EU-UK level.

Jane Golding, Co-Chair of British in Europe – which represents 1.3 million British citizens living on the continent – said:

‘This may be the last chance before the European elections to show the five million people who used their free movement rights in good faith that they matter more than fish carcasses or Cheddar cheese. At almost a third of only 17 million Europeans who currently use their free movement rights, what message does it send for the future if the EU fails to protect their rights in this unprecedented situation? We need a binding commitment now from both sides that rescuing the hard won citizens’ rights part of the Withdrawal agreement will be the contingency, instead of the current contingency plans providing for 28 separate unilateral solutions without international treaty protection’

The two campaign groups have had unanimous support in the UK parliament and the Dutch parliament recently voted in favour of committing the Dutch government to ring-fencing the citizens’ rights part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

EU Withdrawal Bill Committee

Jeremy Morgan and Kalba Meadows from the British in Europe steering team gave evidence in the UK at the public bill committee which is scrutinising the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill. This is the bill that passed its second reading a couple of weeks ago so is now in committee stage. Watch their evidence session:

The Westminster Mass Lobby

Fourteen months after our last lobby in Parliament, nearly two and a half years since the referendum and a mere hundred and forty-four days before Brexit, British in Europe and our friends the3million returned to Westminster on November 5 to convince British politicians that the lives of five million people should not be treated as bargaining chips and that the present (albeit deficient) Withdrawal Agreement should be ring-fenced to give us some kind of certainty about our futures. Continue reading The Westminster Mass Lobby

Take part in the Westminster lobby on 5 November

Take part in #thelastmile lobby by coming to Westminster on 5 November – here’s how …

 

It’s been over two years since the EU referendum, and as March 2019 draws closer the many months of negotiations might still come to nothing if the EU and the UK don’t reach an agreement on Brexit.

Enough is enough – we need the UK government and the EU to honour the commitments already made to us during the negotiations, no matter what.  We are campaigning, alongside our friends the3million, which represents EU citizens in the UK, for the UK government and the EU to commit now to ring-fencing and implementing the citizens’ rights part of the Withdrawal Agreement under Article 50 – no matter what the outcome on Brexit.

It is inconceivable for millions of us to have to wait, not knowing for sure whether our legal status will be backed by a Withdrawal Agreement or not. That’s why we need thousands of you to take part in the e-lobby to make sure that MPs understand not just what’s at stake but the strength of our feelings about it.

If you can come to London on 5 November, you can join in our mass lobby of MPs in the House of Commons by inviting your own MP to meet you there.

How to take part in the Last Mile lobby at Westminster … in four simple steps

1. ​Find out which MP to ask to meet you, and get their contact details
Find the MP whose constituency covers the last address you lived in when you were in the UK. Don’t worry if you’re no longer on the electoral register because of the 15 year rule – write to this MP regardless. Or if you have a strong family connection – for example, a parent – living in the UK, use their address.​Find your MP here, by entering the postcode or constituency: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/​.
Or use this spreadsheet: http://bit.ly/MPSpreadsheet. ​
2. ​Register for the lobby
Registration helps us find out how many people are taking part and which constituencies have been covered.Registration is simple, and free – you will be offered the chance to make a donation towards the lobby costs, which would be much appreciated but is not compulsory. Please select ‘lobby’ on the link below. Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive confirmation and then a further email with more details.Please register here: ​https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brexit-the-last-mile-citizens-lobby-tickets-50144376179
3. ​Send an email to your MP to request a meeting
We’ve prepared a template for you to use as the basis of your email or letter: BiE lobby invitation to meet MP .  While we suggest that you spend a bit of time making it your own, on this occasion it’s very important to make sure that the main points on ring-fencing and the invitation to support and sign the pledge remain unaltered and uncut. This will serve as a briefing for your meeting too.

 

4. Attend the lobby on the day
Once you’ve registered for the lobby on the Eventbrite link above, you’ll receive details of what to do on the day and where to go to meet your MP in the House of Commons. When you’re there, tell your personal story – how you would be affected if there were no deal, how you would be affected even if there were a Withdrawal Agreement and it wasn’t strengthened, as described in the letter. Then once you’ve met with your MP, ask them to come and meet members of British in Europe and the3million and to sign the pledge.

 

>>>> NEXT: Go to template: BiE lobby invitation to meet MP