Category Archives: EU Level

BiE applies to intervene in two legal actions

British in Europe (BiE) has applied to intervene in two actions being brought in the General Court of the EU about the EU Council decision of 30 January 2020 to conclude the Withdrawal Agreement.  BiE’s strategy has always been that the best way of preserving our rights was by lobbying but that we should not hesitate to litigate to try to preserve rights which lobbying fails to secure.  The most critical right denied us by the Withdrawal Agreement is EU-wide free movement. Continue reading BiE applies to intervene in two legal actions

Expert Observers – Part 2

On the 30th March British in Europe and the3million wrote a joint letter to both the UK Government and the EU Commission requesting that representatives of our organisations be given a  role on the specialised subcommittee on citizens’ rights. Read it in full here: Expert Observers.

In response, we received a letter from Wendy Morton,  Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas, thanking us for the work we do and explaining: “As you are aware, experts and other persons can be invited to provide information on a particular subject. The co-chairs have not invited external participants to the first meeting. However, they are aware of your request and will take it into consideration for future meetings.” Read the letter here.

We have written again to the UK Government and the EU Commission with some of the more important specifics that we would like to see discussed and resolved ahead of the first meeting of the special sub-committee of the Joint Committee on citizens’ rights.

Alongside a request for clarification regarding the legal
status of Guidance Note issued last week, the initial list of concerns includes:

1. Withdrawal Agreement implementation

1.1 Issues specific to British citizens in the EU

1.1.1 Implementation timeline across Member States

1.1.2 Interaction of Withdrawal agreement rights and Third Country National rights

1.2 Issues specific to EU citizens in the UK

1.2.1 Restrictions to Status under the EU Settlement Scheme

1.2.2 Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (‘CSI’) and access to the NHS

1.2.3 EU Settlement Scheme status updates by new identity documents

1.3 Issues related to both groups of citizens

1.3.1 Impact of COVID-19

1.3.2 Application deadline of constitutive application schemes

1.3.3 Documents evidencing proof of status under the Withdrawal Agreement

1.3.4 Extension of the Grace Period – Article 18(1)(c)

1.3.5 Issues of implementation and application procedure – Article 18 obligations

1.3.6 Status of children in care and others

1.3.7 Transparency and Data Protection

1.3.8 Dual EU/UK nationals evidencing their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement

2.  Ancillary issues directly related to the Withdrawal Agreement

2.1 Return to country of origin after transition, accompanied by family members

2.2 Travel and visa requirements for non-EU family members of EU and British citizens

Read the full letter here with the supporting information.

We look forward to engaging with the committee further and proactively throughout the duration of the implementation process.

Comments on the Commission Implementing Decision

On 4 March 2020, Jane Golding and Jeremy Morgan, QC, compiled the attached paper on behalf of British in Europe commenting on the Commission Implementing Decision of 21 February 2020. It has been sent to the Task Force unit responsible for Citizens’ Rights and will be circulated to other interested parties.

“As a prescribed document intended “to evidence rights provided under Title II of the Agreement” the proposed format fails to include an essential element, namely whether or not the holder has the status of permanent residence.”

This has important ramifications as laid out in the paper.

Read the paper in full here.


Please donate to our crowdfunder so we can continue to hold all parties to account as the Withdrawal Agreement is implemented. The devil is in the detail and we need our legal team to be on top of these details at all times. This can only happen with YOUR help.

The announcement by the Commission on the format was lauded by many as a great step forward, some people mistakenly believed it gave additional rights. We need experts who understand the implications of the details to review every decision made and call out when they are lacking.