British expats in Spain one step closer to securing EU citizenship post-Brexit after landmark ruling in Netherlands

British expats in Spain one step closer to securing EU citizenship post-Brexit after landmark ruling in Netherlands

BRITISH expats will be able to fight for their EU citizenship at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) after winning a landmark legal ruling. 

It comes after five expats in the Netherlands asked a court in Amsterdam to refer their case to the ECJ last month. The group argued their existing rights could not be taken away because of a referendum in the UK. The judge ruled yesterday that the case could be referred.

A spokesman for Brexpats – Hear Our Voice, which led the challenge, said: “We are grateful to the court and obviously delighted with the decision. However, this is just the first step in clarifying what Brexit could mean for our EU citizenship.

“This case has always been about seeking clarification, not only for the 46,000 Brits living in the Netherlands, but also for all the 1.2 million Brits living in other EU countries.

“As has been demonstrated in recent days, what Brexit means is still extremely unclear. You cannot play with the lives of 1.2 million people as if they are pieces on a chessboard.”

Bremain in Spain’s Sue Wilson says she Agrees with Nigel Farage

Bremain in Spain’s Sue Wilson says she Agrees with Nigel Farage

Lest we forget what he said…

Sue Wilson, Chair of Bremain in Spain, a group campaigning for the UK to remain in the European Union and to protect the rights of British migrants living in Spain, comments on Nigel Farage’s suggestion re holding a second referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

She says: “When I first read Nigel Farage’s comments last week regarding a second referendum, I thought there was a mistake. When it became clear that he really was advocating giving the British public another bite at the apple, I couldn’t help being suspicious of his motives. Could Farage really believe the Leave camp would win if we re-ran the referendum or was this just another publicity stunt? When Aaron Banks then reiterated Farage’s call, I wondered about their intentions. Are they really so confident about the outcome, despite the swing towards Remain in many recent polls?”

She continues: “It seems that Farage’s suggestion is for another in/out referendum – not something I would personally advocate. However, I support the idea of another referendum once the outline of a deal is known. Or, as Vince Cable describes it, a referendum on the facts.”

“One thing that may have surprised Farage, despite some backpedalling on his part, was the wholehearted support for a second referendum from Remain supporters, such as Lord Adonis and Nick Clegg. This led to a flurry of activity on social media. While the Remain movement’s attitude was ‘bring it on’, the Leavers, by comparison, were remarkably silent on the subject.”

Read the full story in EUbusiness

One view on the move forward to Phase Two Brexit negotiations

One view on the move forward to Phase Two Brexit negotiations

BREMAIN IN SPAIN a group campaigning for the UK to remain in the European Union and to protect the rights of British migrants living in Spain, comments on the confirmation by the European Council, last Friday, that Phase Two of the Brexit talks can start.

Sue Wilson, Chair of Bremain in Spain, commented: “It was no surprise that the European Council agreed Brexit negotiations can move on to Phase Two. Theresa May had hoped that this would mean the start of negotiations on trade but the EU has insisted that certain conditions must be met before trade talks can commence.

“It seems that the EU27 countries were not prepared to take May at her word – rather, they needed the agreements reached during Phase One to be more substantial than a handshake and a promise. Even with all the scurrying around from the Tory government, trade talks will not start until March 2018.

“While trade talks are on hold for now, it seems that the main focus of the next three months will be on a transition deal. The EU issued a statement on Friday outlining its guidelines and clarified that, during any transitional period the UK must abide by all EU membership rules. Therefore, the four freedoms would still apply and the UK would remain under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice – a situation unlikely to please the extreme Tory Brexiteers.”

Read full article in Euro Weekly News…

 

‘Sacrificed on the altar of trade’: Britons in EU feel betrayed by Brexit deal

‘Sacrificed on the altar of trade’: Britons in EU feel betrayed by Brexit deal

British nationals living in mainland Europe say they are alarmed by claims that their rights have been protected by the Brexit deal sealed by Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker.

One Briton, Ingrid Taylor, who is settled in Germany, described claims that their rights were now guaranteed as “a barefaced lie”.

Brexit impacts on the future lives of an estimated 1.2 million Britons settled in mainland Europe, most of them working. They have accused May and Juncker of sacrificing them in the rush to sign off phase one of Brexit talks.

Taylor said that she believes the European commission has started to use British people in the rest of the EU as “bargaining chips” in reaction to the “intransigent stance” Theresa May took on EU citizens living in the UK.

“After what happened on Friday, the anger has risen,” she said. “We feel betrayed, we feel anger, we feel we have been sacrificed on the altar of trade.”

One of the biggest fears of such Britons is that they will remain “landlocked” in the country in which they now live, unable to move across borders to work for meetings, or for business contracts.

Read the full Guardian article…

Expats still none the wiser despite “sufficient progress” in Brexit talks

Expats still none the wiser despite “sufficient progress” in Brexit talks

There was bitter disappointment from the organisation British in Europe to a joint report by the UK government and the EU which outlines the progress made during the first phase of Brexit negotiations. The 17-page document, released last Friday, talks of “agreements in principle” and states the caveat “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, leaving millions of EU and UK citizens uncertain about their futures, some 18 months after the referendum result.

Chair of British in Europe, Jane Golding, said: “This deal is even worse than we expected. After 18 months of wrangling, the UK and EU have sold 4.5 million people down the river in a grubby bargain that will have a severe impact on ordinary people’s ability to live their lives as we do now.

The key areas focused on during the first phase of talks were citizens’ rights, the Irish border and a financial settlement. The publication of the report, which announced that “sufficient progress” had been made, now allows them to move on to phase two.

Read full article in the Sur…

EU citizens’ rights groups dismiss May letter as meaningless

EU citizens’ rights groups dismiss May letter as meaningless

Campaigners for the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British nationals in Europe have said a letter from Theresa May reassuring them they will be allowed to stay where they are post-Brexit is “meaningless” and a PR exercise aimed at other EU leaders.

Activists lobbying on behalf of the 3.6 million EU citizens in the UK said the letter was welcome but addressed to the wrong people. “We want to stay in this country. So we agree on that. But this letter is for the eyes of the leaders of the Council of Europe. If she really meant this, this letter would have been sent 12 months ago,” said Nicolas Hatton, the co-founder of the3million group.

He said EU leaders had been happy to meet them, but all requests for meetings with May or the Brexit secretary, David Davis, had been rebuffed. They were meeting the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, again in November, and if May was really committed to their plight then she would meet them too, he said.

British nationals in Europe also expressed scepticism. “It is hard not to take a cynical view [of this letter], especially in view of the timing. I still feel we are the human shields,” said Debra Williams, a Briton living in the Netherlands who runs Brexpats: Hear our Voice.

She called on May to ringfence talks on their rights to ensure Britons in Europe are not deemed unlawful residents in 2019 if the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal.

“I wrote to the Department for Exiting the EU regarding this and I have had four separate replies including a letter from 10 Downing Street. All ignored this question. Yes, we are mightily fed up,” Wilson said.

Hatton said May’s claim that Britain was within touching distance of a deal was hard to reconcile with his group’s view that negotiators were “barely out of the starting blocks”, with fundamental differences of opinion remaining on oversight by the European court of justice and a new “settled status” immigration category that campaigners say amounts to a diminution of existing rights.

Read full article from The Guardian…

Read Theresa May's full Letter