Expats and Brexit

Expats and Brexit

Deal or no deal: Whether it is access to healthcare, pensions or the right to work abroad, how will Brexit affect the finances of the 1.3 million Britons living in Europe?

An interview with our very own Zoe Adams Green, which starts at 5.15

Listen to full interview on Radio 4 Money Box


Bremain in Spain joins People’s Vote march in London

Bremain in Spain joins People’s Vote march in London

OVER 100,000 Brits and Europeans marched through their towns and cities in the UK yesterday (Saturday) calling for a ‘People’s Vote’ on the final Brexit deal – which remainers have been campaigning to include an option to stay in the European Union.

Among those who joined the main march in London were British expats in Spain who had travelled over specially, and the thousands of Spaniards who live in the UK capital, both of whom fear their ability to live, work, retire and receive healthcare in their countries may be threatened by the process.

Bremain in Spain, a Facebook-led campaign group headed up by Sue Wilson (pictured) took to the streets to fight for the rights of Brits in Europe and Europeans in the UK. She is shown here (centre, left) with María Luisa and Nacho Romero, Bremain members from Spain who live in the UK and also belong to the ‘flip-side’ sister group, Españoles en Reino Unido Surviving Brexit

Go to the Think Spain page for more info…

Conversations with Europe

Conversations with Europe

In the wake of the Brexit referendum on 23rd June 2016, as many of us grieved, pondered and tried to make sense of things, a number of pro-active individuals started to campaign. Some campaigns were linked to legal challenges around the vote itself; some campaigns were about celebrating Europe and saying to our fellow EU countries ‘we don’t want this!’ Some were simply an overflow of anger and grief. Not all of those initial campaign groups had a long life. However, some of the most enduring, and necessary are the groups which emerged to campaign for citizens’ rights.

The EU is ultimately all about citizenship – though this barely made it into the Leave/Remain discourse in 2016. It is terrifying enough to many British citizens living in the UK that a marginal vote, won by dishonest propaganda, is on the verge of taking away a whole chunk of our citizenship rights. But for others, this is combined with an uncertainty about their homes, families, friends, jobs, indeed, their whole way of life.

For those from other EU countries living in the UK, we saw campaign groups like The 3 Million and the beginning of projects to collect testimonies such as Our Brexit Testimonies and the resulting book, In Limbo. The reflection of these groups are those representing British citizens who have made their homes in other EU countries. What of their rights? One of the most high profile campaign groups representing British citizens abroad is Bremain in Spain.

Read original ‘Conversations with Europe article…


EU and British citizens’ rights must be ringfenced from Brexit no-deal, say campaigners

EU and British citizens’ rights must be ringfenced from Brexit no-deal, say campaigners

Five million EU and British citizens should have their rights ring fenced in the event of a Brexit ‘no-deal’, say campaigners.

Bremain in Spain chair Sue Wilson called for ‘assurances’ that current rights would be maintained even if Britain fails to strike an overall deal with the EU.

It comes after the EU published its Brexit negotiating guidelines, which stated the rights of more than one million-EU based Brits and three million UK-based EU citizens should be protected.

But a Bremain in Spain spokesperson said people are ‘living in limbo…and being used as bargaining chips’ as there is no agreement to ‘ring fence’ citizens’ rights in the event of no final deal.

Wilson said: “We are greatly encouraged by the EU’s commitment to protect our rights for life.

“It seems clear that this is a red line for the EU and will provide much needed reassurance to millions of people who are worried about their futures.

“What would reassure us even more would be a similar commitment from the UK government.”

She added: “Furthermore, we need assurances that any deal agreed relating to citizens’ rights is guaranteed, regardless of other negotiations, and especially in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario.”

Bremain in Spain is part of a coalition of expat groups called British in Europe.

Campaigners also called on UK political parties to include a pledge to maintain all rights of EU citizens currently living in the UK in their election manifestos.

Jeremy Morgan QC, a member of British in Europe, added: “We need all sides to agree to ring-fence that deal so that it will continue to stand even if there is no wider agreement covering all other matters, or if this is delayed.”

See article on Expatica

Bremain in Spain criticises lack of ‘Votes for Life’ for British citizens living in EU.

Bremain in Spain criticises lack of ‘Votes for Life’ for British citizens living in EU.

Bremain in Spain, a group campaigning for the rights of British citizens in Spain, notes that the Prime Minister has called a General Election on a date that disables people who have lived overseas for over 15 years from voting, despite the Tories’ 2015 manifesto promises to provide “votes for life” in subsequent elections. June 8 does not allow enough time to enable votes for life through an Act of Parliament: just as the June 23 Referendum did not allow this sizeable number of citizens to cast its vote.

At the last election, the Conservative Party manifesto explicitly stated: “We will introduce votes for life, scrapping the rule that bars British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting”. This pledge was not met in time for the Brexit referendum, nor can it be met in time for the June 8 election. Consequently, yet again, British citizens living in EU countries for over 15 years will be denied a say in the formation of a government that will negotiate their future rights to live and work in EU countries.

Bremain in Spain member, Margaret King, explains how she feels about this situation: “All British citizens, including those who live outside the UK, were promised votes for life before the next general election. We now have a general election looming and still no votes for us. This election will culminate in the decision to leave the EU, or not, and will affect those of us living in the EU as much as anybody living in the UK. I want my vote that was promised!”

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