Where are we now?

Where are we now?

Where are we now?

If you are wondering what Bremain will be up to in the coming weeks and months, I wanted to give you a taster of what we’ll be fighting for and against.

Our mid to long term goals will be discussed at length at the forthcoming Bremain Council Strategy meeting at the beginning of March. However, we have already agreed on some goals, including in the short term.

Firstly, let me answer a couple of questions that have been raised on specific topics.

Will Bremain be fighting to Stop Brexit happening on 31st January?

In a word, no. Apart from our belief that this is an impossible goal that would waste time and resources, there is another important factor – the default to no Brexit would be a no deal Brexit. It would be counter-productive to prevent the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement that protects many, if not all, of our important rights.

Is Associate EU membership a possible option for retaining freedom of movement?

Sorry to say but we honestly don’t believe so, though we are closely monitoring any developments. The topic has been broached many times before with the EU27 and has proved unpopular, partly as it smacks of exceptionalism, but also because of the treatment of EU citizens in the UK, which has not encouraged EU states to look kindly on us. Why should British citizens be granted the benefits of club membership without joining the club? In addition, this idea has already been tested, and rejected, by a European court in the Netherlands. It is hard to see how any new legal attempt will stand any more chance of success unfortunately. As the EU President said just today, whilst the EU is “very open” to such ideas, the UK will have 3rd country status and any advantages for British citizens would have to be negotiated as part of a deal that encompasses the free movement of goods, capital and services.

 

Votes for Life 2020

Bremain Campaigns

Our focus will remain, as it always has, on fighting the damaging aspects of Brexit. This does not mean helping members with applications for residencia or Spanish driving licences. There are plenty of more qualified groups than ours that do this type of work already.

We may not be able to stop Brexit, but we can certainly help mitigate the damage. The main ways we can do that are by campaigning to:

  • Prevent a no-trade-deal Brexit at the end of 2020
  • Extend the transition period, ideally until the end of 2022
  • Hold the government to account and prevent further erosion of democracy and our rights
  • We still have important rights at risk thanks to Brexit, such as freedom of movement. Whilst we still retain those rights during the transition period, there is still hope of further negotiations to change our future.
  • In addition, Bremain will continue to lobby for the restoration of our democratic voting rights by reinvigorating our Votes for Life campaign.

 

Thank you for joining us on our journey, and for all your support.

Look out for details of our forthcoming Annual General Meeting in March (most likely in the Malaga region), if you would like to take part.

Be assured that Bremain are still here, still committed and motivated, and still up for a fight! We hope you are too!

Sue Wilson – Chair

Withdrawal Agreement and Bill

Withdrawal Agreement and Bill

What is the difference between the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and the Withdrawal Agreement Bill?

There is a great deal of political jargon to get your head around the difference between the two so we hope that this post will help you to get a better understanding of both. In a nutshell, the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (WA) Is the international treaty agreed between the UK and the EU. The Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) is the piece of legislation which Parliament needs to pass in order for the Withdrawal agreement to become UK law. There may be amendments to the WAB in either chamber but these are unlikely to pass due to the government majority. 

Collectives vow to keep fighting to protect citizens’ rights in Brexit deal

Collectives vow to keep fighting to protect citizens’ rights in Brexit deal

As Britons living in Spain and across the EU27, as well as EU citizens living in the UK, come to terms with the reality of Brexit following last Thursday’s election, groups representing them are beginning to plan for the future.

Far from giving up, collectives including Bremain in Spain, British in Europe and The Three Million, which represents EU citizens in the UK, issued statements to assure followers that they will be continuing to campaign on their behalves.

British in Europe and The Three Million issued a joint statement in which they stated, “We will renew our campaign for both the UK and all the EU27 to automatically guarantee our rights.”

While Sue Wilson, chair of Bremain in Spain, which is part of the British in Europe umbrella group, said, “We must now accept that the UK will start the process of leaving the EU on 31st January, unless there’s a Christmas miracle.”

A statement issued by the group went on to say, “This is not the end of the road for Bremain. The nature of our fight will change, but our goals and our ethos will not. We still believe, and always will, that the UK’s place is at the heart of the EU.”

Anne Hernández, president of Brexpats in Spain, which represents people regardless of their views on Brexit but stands to protect people’s rights, said she was personally “resigned” to Brexit but added, “With all my determination to get the best possible outcome for us as citizens in the EU.” Hernández said, “We shall be needing the support of Spain and I am doing all I can, as I have been from the very beginning since the referendum, to reciprocate their help.”

Taken from The Sur

Spain keeps a close eye on the UK General Election results

Spain keeps a close eye on the UK General Election results

As the UK went to the polls on Thursday, not only were Britons living in Spain watching closely, but also Spanish citizens residing in the UK.

The UK media claimed the 2019 General Election was “the most important in a generation” and news was coming in by midmorning of unprecedented numbers of people forming queues outside polling stations, following reports of a surge in people registering in the weeks leading up to the vote.

Anti-Brexit groups were calling for voters to vote tactically in order to get the pro-Brexit Conservatives out of government.

Britons in Spain, many of whom were unable to vote having lived abroad for more than 15 years, were well aware that the outcome of the election will affect how and when Britain leaves the EU, and therefore could make a difference to their future rights.

Anne Hernandez of the association Brexpats in Spain said on Thursday: “Our futures are dependent on today’s vote and our 9,000 members are worried.” She added, “Despite being a general election, it is being labelled the Brexit election because our futures here could all change at the drop of a hat in a no-deal.”

Sue Wilson, Chair of the association Bremain in Spain, said, “Brexit has been the most damaging and painful experience that many Brits in Europe have ever experienced. Yet, even after three and a half years of living in limbo, we absolutely do not want to ‘Get Brexit Done’ – rather, we want to ‘Get Brexit Gone’.” She went on to say, “This election is the most unpredictable in living memory.”

Michael Soffe, long-term Malaga resident and businessman, also expressed his concern and frustration at how the outcome of the election could affect British residents in EU countries. “I and many other disenfranchised voters are watching the proceedings today, consigned to the sidelines yet again, no vote on our futures,” he said on Thursday. “If a Tory government is returned I have a feeling that the whole ‘leave with no deal’ scenario will be back on the table again in a year’s time as the chances of having a trade deal in a year are not realistic.”

Full article in The Sur

Bremain Brexelection Briefing 3

Bremain Brexelection Briefing 3

Bremain BrexElection Briefing (3)

We provide an extract of articles from a variety of news sources that you may have missed over the past week. To read the whole story please click on the link.

Labour poll surge after blasting Tory cuts that ‘make UK vulnerable to terror’

Mr Corbyn warned cuts to the justice system can lead to “missed chances to intervene in the lives of people who go on to commit absolutely inexcusable acts”. He said: “You can’t keep people safe on the cheap.” He was backed by criminologist and former prison officer Ian Acheson, who led a government review of Islamist extremism in prisons and probation. Mr Acheson said: “At the heart of this is the destruction of the prison and probation service through crazy, failed, ideological austerity cuts.” (Ben Glaze Mirror 1 December) 

Boris Johnson pledges to strengthen border security checks on EU nationals

Boris Johnson is pushing for a post-Brexit reform of border rules designed to strengthen security checks over Europeans entering the U.K. In the aftermath of Friday’s London Bridge terrorist attack, in which two people died and three others were injured, the Conservative Party put forward a package of five changes to border rules, including a requirement for Europeans to submit to electronic clearance procedures before entering the U.K. The party has pledged to implement the changes once it has ended freedom of movement after Brexit. (Cristina Gallardo Politico.EU 2 December) 

EU Flags
pound sterling

The Election’s impact on the Pound: is it all about Brexit?

It’s no surprise that a recent YouGov survey revealed that 68% of the British electorate rank Brexit in their top three most important issues facing the country. This is up from 64% in the runup to the 2017 general election. According to Ipsos Mori’s monthly survey; if voters are asked to name one issue that’s concerned them throughout the last 12 months, Brexit comes out top. 57% named it as the most important issue in the September survey, with no other topic receiving more than 3%. Let’s look at the election’s impact on the pound. How do the major political parties plan to address the Brexit issue if they win? How could the potential outcomes impact the pound? (RationalFX 3 December)

 

Why UK should be in EU. Sucking up to Trump won’t get Johnson a good deal.

Trump will throw his might around – with friend or foe – if he can get away with it. The only way to stop him is to stand up to him. As part of the EU, we have the strength to stand up to bullies all around the world. If Johnson gets his way and drags us out of the 28-nation bloc, we won’t. Trump says he will do a beautiful trade deal with us. But it will be beautiful for him, and ugly for us. If Johnson doesn’t agree to push up the prices the NHS pays for US-made drugs and open up our market to chlorine-washed chicken, he probably won’t get a deal at all. (Hugo Dixon InFacts 4 December)

Liberal Democrats hope tactical voting will win them Conservative seat in Winchester

Liberal Democrats hope a tight race in Winchester could create an upset for the Conservatives who are trying to hold onto this constituency that voted to remain. Some voters are now considering tactical voting – voting for a candidate other than their favourite in order to defeat an undesired candidate. The Liberal Democrats, the Greens and Plaid Cymru have formed a remain electoral pact in an attempt to defeat pro-Brexit candidates. (Vincent McAviney & Jack Parrock Euronews last updated: 5 December)

 

People with learning disabilities slam Tory candidate for saying they should be paid less

People with learning disabilities have hit back at comments made by a Tory candidate that they should be paid less than minimum wage as ‘they don’t understand money’. Sally-Ann Hart, the Conservative candidate for Hastings and Rye, was met with jeers and boos as she suggested paying disabled people less at a hustings event. (Zoe Drewett Metro 6 December)

wheelchair-
earth

General election 2019: Labour leads on combating climate change, says Friends of the Earth

Labour has has the most impressive environmental policies, a Friends of the Earth (FoE) survey has found. While the Greens and the Liberal Democrats also set out important policies to tackle climate change, the Conservatives scored poorly.Key areas covered in the survey included climate targets, energy, transport, food and nature. In contrast to the Conservatives ‘actively damaging’ transport policies, Labour has revealed a new policy to curb emissions caused by flying. (Clea Skopeliti inews 7 December)

 

We hope you have enjoyed reading the above extracts from important news stories published over the last 7 days and would welcome any comments you may have.
Bremain Brexelection Briefing 2

Bremain Brexelection Briefing 2

Welcome to Bremain in Spain’s second Brexit/Election update on the week’s news. We have given a “snippet” of each article and if you would like to read the whole story please click on the link.

Tory general election manifesto: 6 bits of bad news buried in the small print

The devil is in the detail – and in this case, the details are pretty devilish. Here’s our round up of the small print of Boris Johnson’s election blueprint – and what they’ve left out altogether. Boris Johnson launched his first manifesto as leader of the Conservative Party today ahead of December’s General Election. Some of the headline promises have already started to fall apart – notably the pledge to recruit 50,000 new nurses, which isn’t strictly true.

(Mikey Smith & Dan Bloom Mirror 24 November updated 25 November)

How Britain could still face a cliff-edge Brexit

Even if Johnson wins next month’s election and takes Britain out of the bloc on Jan. 31, his government and the other 27 member states of the EU will have an 11-month transition period to negotiate a future relationship. If they fail to hammer out a new trade deal by the end of 2020, which experts say is likely, and they fail to agree to extend the transition period for more negotiations, Britain will effectively be facing a disorderly no-deal Brexit again.

(John Chalmers Reuters 25 November)

Stop

If Tories win UK elections, Johnson’s ‘preposterous’ Brexit plans threaten no-deal

The British prime minister and Conservative leader is centring his campaign on the mantra “Get Brexit Done” – promising to take the UK out of the EU on the January 31 deadline after passing his withdrawal agreement, then end the transition period (under which Britain would remain in the single market and customs union) on the scheduled date of December 31, 2020.

(Tom Wheeldon France 24 26 November)

Nurse refuses to shake Boris’s hand until he delivers promise of 50,000 new nurses

Boris Johnson got a grilling from staff at a hospital in Penzance over his election promises for the NHS. The Prime Minister was asked if he had a ‘nurses tree’ as well as a magic money tree after pledging to deliver 50,000 new nurses for the NHS. He was accused of ‘deceit’ over the pledge after it emerged nearly half of the nurses promised already work for the NHS.

(Zoe Drewett Metro 27 November)

 

Nurse

General election 2019: Why Labour’s ‘red wall’ could be about to crumble – and how the party is dealing with it

Even in the worst of times, Labour could count on a “red wall” stretching across North Wales and England which remained loyal to the party. From the Mersey to the Humber, taking in the big cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Hull and their surrounding areas, supporting Labour was ingrained in generations of working-class voters. But that wall could be about to crumble. A detailed YouGov analysis released on Wednesday will send a chill down Labour spines because it predicts a succession of previous party strongholds falling into Boris Johnson’s hands. (Nigel Morris inews 28 November)

 

EU Flag

The legacy of Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker

It’s a relationship that has had its rows and rocky periods, but after five years as the couple in charge of the European Union, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker will no doubt leave with a sigh of relief that the EU show is still on the road. Even if one of the lead players wants to leave. (Mark Webster CGTN 29 November)

Boris Johnson’s lead halved, putting UK in ‘hung parliament territory’, latest poll reveals

The Conservative lead in the general election campaign has been more than halved in just one week, putting the UK in “hung parliament territory”, an exclusive poll for The Independent shows. Boris Johnson’s party is now only six points ahead of Labour, it has found – matching other surveys suggesting the race is tightening dramatically, amid growing Tory nervousness. (Rob Merrick The Independent 30 Nov)

Graph

We hope you have enjoyed reading the above extracts from important news stories published over the last 7 days and would welcome any comments you may have on how we are bringing the latest news to you.