Why British in Europe has to come off the fence

After nearly two years fighting for the rights of UK citizens in the EU after Brexit and working closely with EU citizens in the UK (the3million), the coalition British in Europe has to accept that the rights of UK citizens in the EU will only be protected fully if the UK remains in the EU.

British in Europe was set up to protect all UK citizens who had exercised their rights as EU citizens to live and work in another EU country.  Nearly 80% of us are working age or younger and Brexit threatens our livelihoods and the lives we have built up with our families through hard work in other countries.  The majority of us had no vote in the referendum.

We are all Europeans, children of the European project.  We are British Citizens who have exercised our EU citizenship rights, with the full support of successive British Governments across many years. We have seized all the opportunities that EU citizenship and the fundamental freedoms have given us.

Until now, we have not campaigned to stop Brexit but to defend citizens’ rights.  We were promised by both sides that our lives would remain the same as before.  But our requests for meetings with Theresa May, the Brexit Secretary and the Home Secretary have gone unanswered.

If Brexit goes ahead, rights will be removed from us whatever the outcome of the negotiations:

  1.  At worst, in a no deal scenario, we lose all our rights, and our legal status, and must hope that an emergency deal can be put in place to apply third-country national status to us, which is in no way equivalent to being an EU citizen.
  2.  At best, the deal on citizens’ rights in the draft Withdrawal Agreement would confirm many of our rights but only in the countries where we live now. Even then, we would lose key rights such as free movement, the right to move, work and live in any EU country other than where we live now, and face huge uncertainty about the rights of the youngest members of our group – children and young people – in particular their residency and citizenship rights.  Plus the UK has failed to guarantee our right to return to the UK and bring our family members without being subject to strict UK immigration laws.

So we have no choice now but to accept that the best solution to protect our rights is to remain in the EU.  That is why we now support a People’s Vote, and we demand that the government deliver on its 2015 and 2017 manifesto commitments to give us back our vote so that we can finally have a say about our own lives.

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5 thoughts on “Why British in Europe has to come off the fence”

  1. I applaud your efforts and have donated. Commitments in France prevent my attendance in London on 20 October. Best wishes.

  2. A fraudulently obtained narrow win on June 23rd 2016 was in no way the ‘will of the people’. You could hear the people’s shock and disbelief the morning after when they were told that they had never been promised 350 million a week for the NHS.
    More than two years later the people will speak again, and this time the lies and the empty promises will be revealed for what they were.

  3. Can someone please explain how the UK Government intends to compensate all those affected by their Brexit plans or lack of them. To be clear, one would be hard pressed to demonstrate how a remain vote would have impacted a personal budget whereas Brexit equals a material and fiscal loss for many and one which needs to be made good by the authors of this whole sorry affair.

  4. I totally agree with this stance and welcome it. In my eyes, the Cameron and May governments have moved to damage British citizens, wilfully or through neglect and incompetence. (Which is worse?) The solution, really, was a no-brainer: If they lacked the competence, which they clearly do on serious matters—territorial integrity (NI/ROI), trade and citizens’ rights—HMG could have easily organised to meet and discuss solutions with organisations with proven competencies in this area. There are 5 million Europeans, on whom it can be said, due to wilfully refused voting rights to most of these, that Brexit is being thrust: ie this is collateral damage, and clearly an unacceptable one. The simple solution in this scenario, had they accepted the consultation, was to ring-fence our rights—in whatever form. In my opinion this would be best done through fast-tracked citizenships + a unilateral temporary relaxation of dual-citizenship conditions for citizens from or in NL & Germany, etc., or through a Europe-wide recognised documented status (not the one from the proven untrustworthy British government, cf. Windrush).

    To their credit, the Select Committee and individual MEPs and MPs have actively given audience to BiE & t3m, and a (small) number of officials have crossed the Channel to see us. Those that did not do this to either antagonise or sweep aside concerns (sadly there are two concrete MPs who did this), but to really listen and relay signals further, should be commended for doing their duty. Thank you for doing this.

    But those in the decisive roles of power have failed to do so. By neglecting the serious concerns of 5 million people, and by trying to minimise the image of the problem and not the problem itself, the current British government have set a signal globally, that they cannot be trusted with peoples’ lives, incl their own. I had thought since 2013, that Brexit was inevitable and that the state would then do its duty and prepare to protect citizens (incl those who have joined and enriched the UK). I am now of another opinion in both respects, in particular in light of the fact that key politicians are proceeding to inflict ever wider damage to citizens and now the country itself. Our country is far better than this and I sincerely hope, that good will and good sense will win the day.

  5. Being disabled, and a carer to my disabled husband, I fear for the future when we leave Europe. We voted to stay within the EU and I still believe this was the right decision.

    Our rights as citizens are already under attack; give Theresa May carte blanche and God help us!!!!

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