Along with the3million, we have written to Michel Barnier to highlight our concerns about the implementation of our rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, as well as to remind him about the issues that are not covered. Continue reading Letter to Michel Barnier
When the election was declared, British in Europe wrote to each party leader explaining how they can support British citizens living in the EU. We have had no responses but are pleased to see Votes For Life reaching the Lib Dem manifesto. Continue reading Letters to Party Leaders
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 – How to Sue
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.
Last week the EU granted the UK another three month extension until 31 January 2020 and the next day, a new general election was announced. Continue reading BiE and the UK General Election: priorities until December
Citizens’ rights groups the3million and British in Europe disappointed with EP resolution
Following the European Parliament resolution adopted yesterday, it is sad to see that there is a resolution but no solution. The European Parliament has made no concrete suggestions about how to ensure that the rights of five million citizens will be protected, whether there is a deal or not. Continue reading the3million and BiE disappointed with EP resolution
On Wednesday 3 July 2019, five representatives from British in Europe gave evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Exiting the EU headed by Hilary Benn MP. This was supported by comprehensive written evidence. Continue reading BiE give evidence to Exiting the EU Select Committee
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.
Today we are pleased to see that our recent meeting with Secretary of State Steve Barclay (below) has resulted in a clearly worded letter to Michel Barnier requesting the ringfencing of our rights in the case of no deal. Continue reading Letter to Michel Barnier from Steve Barclay
Thank you to all those who responded so quickly following the call for information from British citizens living in the EU who had not been able to exercise their rights to vote in the European Election in the UK, by post or by proxy.
Continue reading #DeniedMyVote – your help needed