Letter to MEPs

On Monday, 20 November, the British in Europe steering team wrote to every MEP.  Ahead of the EUCO summit on 14-15 December and its debate on the progress made in the Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU27 states, we asked them to familiarise themselves with our concerns.

In the letter, we discuss free movement, recognition of professional qualifications, economic rights, family reunification, children born after Brexit, safeguarding of current rights of residence, voting and ring-fencing.

Read the letter in English here:

3 thoughts on “Letter to MEPs”

  1. I understand that BiE currently are not campaigning for the cancellation of Brexit and that this is, apparently, part of a strategy to allow the organisation to maintain a dialogue with both sides in the Withdrawal negotiations.

    Whilst I fully support the tactic of prioritising Citizens’ Rights and recognise their importance for the UKinEU and EUinUK, I consider that the declared strategy runs the risk of isolating BiE from ‘remainer’ organisations in the UK; organisations which have greater membership and more influence over the UK Government. The declared strategy also opens BiE to comment from ‘leavers’ that : “Even the British in Europe don’t care in the UK exits the EU, so long as some of their rights are protected.”

    These are serious considerations and I personally can imagine very little damage arising from a strategy that declares a preference for the UK remaining in the EU but, failing that, Citizens’ Right being otherwise protected and ring-fenced. This would be understood by both sides and would not alienate ‘remain’ campaigners in the UK.

    1. Hi Paul,
      We considered this at our strategy day in Brussels and agreed that we must maintain neutrality on Brexit and focus only on Citizens Rights. Clearly, as individuals, we value our relationship with the EU, it is the reason we are living where we are, but there are many remainer organisations already focused on this area. We have very limited resources and it is essential we focus on our key battle which is safeguarding our rights. Should the remainer organisations triumph then there will have no need for all our work and our rights will be safe, however if Brexit does happen, our work will be essential and we cannot allow anything to reduce the influence that we have worked long and hard to get. Our position has always been one of neutrality and we have not had any negative feedback from other organisations whether leave or remain.
      Hope you have recovered from your bike ride – congratulations on your great acheivement.

  2. Just had this great reply from Catherine Bearder-

    Dear Ms Chaplin,

    Thank you for your letter about Brexit, and its impact your citizenship and residence.

    As a passionate pro-European MEP, I am continuing to stand up for the 48% of voters who wished to remain in the European Union (EU). Many people are upset at the idea of losing their freedom of movement and European citizenship, and then there are the issues surrounding EU nationals in the UK and Brits aboard.

    You might be aware that the British Government has recently published its latest offer to the EU on citizens’ rights and what it wants EU countries to do with Brits there. However, their offer is simply not good enough.

    During the referendum, leave campaigners said citizens’ rights would be protected. Since the 23rd June, the Conservative Government has also said they would guarantee citizens’ rights, whatever happens with Brexit. The latest announcement by the British Government just explains the Government’s bureaucratic plans, not what rights are guaranteed.

    My colleagues in the European Parliament and I – well, most MEPs at least – who speak for all EU citizens, will not accept any Brexit deal that destroys the status of EU citizens. The sooner Theresa May and David Davis understand this, the quicker Brexit negotiations will move forward.

    Yours sincerely,

    Catherine Bearder

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