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

‘Deal? What deal?’: Reaction from Brits in Spain

‘Deal? What deal?’: Reaction from Brits in Spain

Sue Wilson, chair of Bremain in Spain, shared her thoughts with The Local.

“The reactions from Bremain in Spain members have ranged from serious concerns over our future citizens’ rights to ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’,” she said.

“It’s been difficult for many to know how to react to the news, as there’s so little information available. We’ve been told a deal has been done, that the UK and the EU have reached an agreement, but where is the evidence?”


“There has been no announcement from Theresa May or confirmation from Michel Barnier. Only a qualified comment from Ireland’s Deputy Premier, Simon Coveney, that negotiations were ongoing and have not yet concluded.”

“During Prime Minister’s Question Time today, May described the 500 page document as a “draft agreement”, while her deputy, David Liddington, described it only as a “provisional agreement between negotiators”. A statement to the House is not expected until tomorrow, after the Cabinet has met this afternoon.

Wilson adds: “It would seem the only sure thing is that the proposed agreement has not been well received, neither by Remain or Leave supporters.”

“May has been meeting Cabinet ministers one at a time in an effort to garner their support. Whether she has succeeded, we shall wait to find out.

Full article in The Local


Spanish group joins campaign for public vote on final Brexit deal

Spanish group joins campaign for public vote on final Brexit deal

Bremain in Spain, the anti-Brexit group formed by British residents in this country, joined last weekend’s launch of the PeoplesVote campaign, aimed at securing a public vote on the UK’s final deal for its exit from the EU. Pro-Europe organisations were joined by actor and campaigner Patrick Stewart, comedian Andy Parsons and MPs in London for the event.

Thousands of anti-Brexit campaigners took to the streets around the UK on Saturday to raise awareness and collect signatures to take to politicians. Further events have been planned for the coming months, including a rally in Westminster on 23 June, on the second anniversary of the referendum.

Read the full story in The Sur…

Brexit & You

Brexit & You

With Britain and the EU seemingly no closer to agreement over the shape of Brexit, the talk in the UK this week has focused on what might happen if the country crashes out of the European Union without a deal.

For some Brexiteers this is the preferred option that will deliver the immediate freedom from interfering foreign bureaucrats that they have desired for so long. For Brexiteer Chris Grayling, now transport minister, the food shortages that might result could largely be solved by British farmers growing more.

Meanwhile, demands that the British government come clean over their secret papers assessing the impact of Brexit on the British economy are getting louder. Even without official government studies, there’s concern about the impact on a whole range of sectors – with the wine industry and airlines among those voicing their worries this week (see below).

Those of us on the continental side of the channel at least don’t have to worry about incipient hunger, but people are getting anxious nonetheless about what a Brexit crash landing would mean for citizens and the economy. Below we report on why the Dutch are fretting. And in this week’s feature article, Alex Macbeth looks at how Brits in Spain are organising themselves to deal with the repercussions.

We hope you enjoy this week’s edition. Let us know what you think – email us at or find us on Twitter @thelocaleurope.

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Between a rock and a hard place: Brits in Spain and Brexit

If citizenship rights are the key issue at stake in the Brexit negotiations, then in no other country do Brits have more to lose than in Spain. But the British exit also poses challenges to a vitally important trading relationship.

At least 300,000 UK citizens officially live in Spain, although some estimates say the number is closer to one million. That’s more than a quarter, possibly as much as half or more, of all Brits living in the European Union.

Many face an uncertain future and at least two citizens’ rights groups, Bremain in Spain and Brexpats, have been lobbying and campaigning for the rights of UK citizens in Spain since the Brexit vote.

“We have nearly 5,000 members from all areas of Spain but we are represented in Alicante, Valencia, Malaga, Cadiz, Almeria, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Mallorca and Granada,” Anne Hernandez, founder of Brexpats, who has lived in Spain for more than 30 years, told The Local.

Brexpats acts as a lobby group for the rights of UK citizens and “is in close regular contact with the Consuls,” says Hernandez.

Bremain in Spain is another initiative by Brits in Spain. The lobby’s Facebook group has nearly 5,000 members. Sue Wilson, the founder, says she spends 50-70 hours a week running the initiative, which is self funded by members.

See full newsletter in The Local

Lack of Dutch courage? The Netherlands is feeling low about Brexit

The Dutch economy is beginning to feel the pinch of Brexit uncertainty, if local media reports are any barometer of concern.

“The Netherlands also has a lot to lose in Brexit,” writes Dutch current affairs portal The report cites employer concerns at major trade hubs and ports such as Rotterdam and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

“Over 11 per cent of the port’s total imports and exports – some 54 million tonnes – are shipped between the British Isles and the port of Rotterdam every year,” states a communication from the Port of Rotterdam vis-a-vis Brexit.

Landmark events such as the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, the world’s largest flower market, have expressed concerns about the impact Brexit could have on business too. Some 40 million flowers are traded every day in Aalmseer, according to the region’s tourism site.

More than 100,000 jobs are also at stake in the fishing sector, adds the report, citing joint agreements on fishing that may need to be renegotiated.

The Dutch pharmaceutical industry could also be affected as it relies on imports from the UK, according to the article.

See full article…

Last in, first out? France’s largest British community

For one of the largest British communities in France, there is a lot at stake in the Brexit negotiations.

While Brits in Paris, Marseilles, Lyon and other major cities will no doubt be watching the negotiations carefully, more than a quarter of France’s 150,000 resident Brits live in the newly created region of Nouvelle Aquitaine, in southwest France, according to, France’s national statistics office.

Many Brits only moved to the region in the early 2000s. In 1968, there were less than 1,000 UK citizens living in the area, the capital of which is Bordeaux.

Now there are more than 39,000 officially and Brits constitute the second largest foreign population in the region, after the Portuguese, and the largest British community in any French region. The average age of Brits in Nouvelle Aquitaine is 52 and more than 47 percent are retirees.

British visitors also sustain the local tourism industry. Brits booked 545,000 hotel rooms in 2016, 73 percent of all overnight stays in the region. British companies are well embedded in local commerce too; one fifth of all foreign companies in the region are from the UK.

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Brexit Events Europe

Get the run down of Brexit events happening all over Europe in the coming months.   Find one close to you.