Category Archives: News

Join BiE at the London march on 20 Oct. 2018

The British in Europe Steering Committee, along with many members from our groups right across the EU27, attended the first People’s Vote march in London on 23 June 2018 to raise awareness of our outstanding issues and also to campaign for all British citizens living in the EU, and EU citizens living in the UK, to have the right to vote in any ‘People’s Vote’ referendum on a final deal. It was a very successful day, and we now have strong support for our issues from the People’s Vote team.

Another – hopefully even larger – march is planned in London for Saturday 20 October 2018 – just a couple of days after the crucial October EUCO summit. We will be there once again, and we warmly invite all British in Europe, along with your friends and families (whether in the EU or in the UK) to join with us and march under our banners. We’d love to meet you.

 

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First Reactions to the White Paper

Perhaps it goes without saying, but we must make clear that the White Paper is just about the future relationship.  Unless otherwise stated any proposals refer to all UK citizens, including those who move temporarily (e.g. holiday) or permanently after 2020.  Only point 13 below applies just to those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

  1. The White Paper (WP) draws a distinction between movement of goods and provision of services, with a free trade area for goods but not for services.  This is probably more because the UK wants to be free to export its successful services sector across the globe without customs union-style restrictions, rather than any recognition that the UK would not be able to get such a good deal for services in any event (Chapter 1 para. 47 notes that UK non-EU services trade grew by 73% in the last 10 years).
  2. For services the WP proposes broad coverage across services sectors and modes of supply, “deep” market access commitments with no limit on the number of service providers from one country that can operate in another, and “deep” commitments to prevent as far as possible national suppliers being given more favourable treatment (1:52).
  3. On Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications – the proposal is for the same range of professions to be covered as at present, including those operating on permanent and temporary bases, and operating in a very similar way to the existing Directive (1:55).
  4. In addition to the general provisions on services, it proposes special arrangements for “professional and business services” including, e.g., joint practice between UK and EU lawyers, and joint UK/EU ownership of accounting firms, though the rights of service providers would differ from present rights in unspecified ways (1:57).
  5. We are referred to as being around 800,000 again and it says that an EU/UK agreement already reached gives us certainty about our rights. At least it does not say that we will be able to continue to live our lives as before. (1:72).
  6. Free movement will end and EU migration brought under EU law. (1:73)
  7. Aim is to allow UK firms to move and attract talent and to deploy staff to provide cross-border services (1:79).
  8. Will seek reciprocal visa free travel for short-term business reasons which would permit only paid work in limited and clearly defined circumstances in line with current business visa policy (how does this apply to self-employed people?)(1:80).
  9. Will seek to agree reciprocal provisions on inter-corporate transfers in line with rules in trading agreements with non-EU countries. Will also discuss how to facilitate temporary mobility of scientists, researchers, self-employed professionals, employees providing services as well as investors (note the use of the word “discuss” rather than seek to agree in this context). (1:81)
  10. Will seek reciprocal visa free tourist travel (1:83) and EHIC cover for travel (1:84).
  11. Proposes a UK-EU youth mobility scheme for students similar to those for Australia and Canada: query whether this will mean that international fees apply and whether student loans would be available – this will need to be checked. (1:86). Includes successor scheme to Erasmus+ (4:36)
  12. Will seek continuation of reciprocal social security system, including aggregation of contributions, and EHIC cover for UK citizens who go to live in the EU in future. (1:89)
  13. Will seek “onward movement opportunities” for UKinEU (i.e. those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement) but then references “the opportunities we will have if we choose to move to another country” i.e. the focus is on moving from one country to another, rather than free movement to work in other countries or spend time in other countries without moving. This is not the key or at least not the only issue as regards free movement for this group and the UK government must understand that. (1:90)
  14. Framework that would be sought on mobility could also cover recognition of professional qualifications as referred to above. (1:91)
  15. UK wants to explore options for reciprocal access for road haulage and passenger transport operators, as well as private motoring (1:134).
  16. UK to bind itself by treaty to require UK courts to pay due regard to CJEU decisions on matters covered by “common rule book” for trade, though not able to make preliminary references to CJEU (4:35)
  17. UK to work “at pace” to conclude Art. 50 negotiations this autumn (October), including the political statement about the future relationship (Conclusion:4)
  18. “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” applies not only to the WA but also the political statement (barely sotto voce, if we don’t get the future relationship we want CR and the divorce bill go out of the window too) (Conclusion: 5).

You can download our reaction as pdf: Response to UK White Paper 15 July 18.

The Government’s White Paper is available here.

 

 Photo © Mangostar/Shutterstock.com

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’.


For additional comments and interviews – contact us or tweet @BritishInEurope or @mediawhizz.


Photo: www.shutterstock.com/twocoms

Freedom of Movement Survey Results

We carried out a survey on the importance of  Freedom of Movement (FoM) amongst our supporters in May 2018. Over 3 000 people responded.

It is clear that a significant proportion of British in Europe rely on FoM to carry out their daily lives, while others have future plans dependent on FoM.  FoM is also consistently seen as important when considering the opportunities available to children.

The full details can be read here:

The pdf is available for download here:

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Legal Analysis of the WA text

Whilst others took a break over Easter, our legal team were hard at work analysing the detail of the text on Citizens Rights in the Withdrawal Agreement draft dated 19 March, 2018.

BiE has previously issued guidance on the elements that are of major concern to UK nationals living in the EU27 and were told that any proposal of amendments of substance would be ignored.

This feedback takes two forms:
1) Drafting comments on the agreement
2) Questions requiring answering by both sides of the negotiation. Continue reading Legal Analysis of the WA text

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

Draft Withdrawal Agreement – BiE comments

Our advocacy team burned the midnight oil last night as they raced to prepare a thorough review of the draft Withdrawal Agreement (WA). At the last minute, the publication of the agenda for today’s technical meeting in Brussels included Citizens’ Rights and it was imperative that the detail was available to both sides of the negotiation. Continue reading Draft Withdrawal Agreement – BiE comments