Category Archives: News

The Withdrawal Agreement – An Explanation

The Withdrawal Agreement

What is it, what does it do and who does it cover?

This is the first article (of a total of 6 articles) in British in Europe’s January 2020 information campaign about the Withdrawal Agreement and how it affects you as a British citizen living in an EU country.

In this article we take a look at what the Withdrawal Agreement is (and what it isn’t), what it does, how it’s different from the no deal legislation that your host country will have produced, and who it covers.

The following articles will look specifically at

  • Residence rights and procedures;
  • Health care, pensions and social security;
  • Working rights, professional qualifications and family reunification;
  • What’s not covered by the WA;
  • Frequently asked questions.

If you value our independent, expert advice, please donate to our dwindling funds. 

For easy reading, click the [ ] in the bottom right to enter full screen.

You can download a pdf of  the full document HERE.

#DeniedMyVote – How to Sue

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

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.

the3million and BiE disappointed with EP resolution

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

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.