martes, 28 de febrero de 2017

COLOQUIO DE EUROCITIZENS SOBRE LAS IMPLICACIONES DEL BREXIT PARA LA CIUDADANÍA ESPAÑOLA Y BRITÁNICA

La Unión Europea va a recibir la notificación de la primera salida de un país miembro a finales de este mes, cuando el gobierno del Reino Unido ha anunciado que invocará el Artículo 50 del Tratado de Lisboa. Para los europeos que viven en el Reino Unido y los británicos que viven en España, el Brexit supone una amenaza para sus derechos como ciudadanos europeos. Destrozará vidas hechas en países que ofrecían oportunidades e integración social y cortará las posibilidades para los jóvenes que aún tienen que hacer sus vidas. Los cuatro derechos fundamentales de libertad de movimiento de capitales, bienes, servicios y personas son indivisibles, pero con el voto a favor del “Brexit” las personas se han convertido en “moneda de cambio” en las negociaciones preliminares entre el Reino Unido y la Unión Europea. En esta situación tan crítica para tantos españoles y británicos que viven en ambos países, se ha creado EuroCitizens, cuyo objetivo es defender los derechos de ciudadanía europea de los británicos en España y de los españoles en el Reino Unido. En el coloquio que organiza EuroCitizens el 8 de marzo (Oficina del Parlamento Europe, 18h) queremos informar a los españoles y británicos sobre el impacto del Brexit para que puedan defender sus derechos. 

Inscripción: Debes inscribirte en el siguiente enlace: https://fastfor.ms/02031 
Aforo limitado. Ninguna persona será admitida sin haberse inscrito o sin la documentación requerida.

Correo: Eurocitizens2016@gmail.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EuroCitizens­-1119482284794200/
Twitter: @EuroCitizens99
Blog: Eurocitizens2020.blogspot.com.es

viernes, 24 de febrero de 2017

BOMBARD PEERS AND MPS WITH DEMANDS FOR UNILATERAL ACTION TOWARDS EU CITIZENS IN THE UK!

The House of Lords    Photo: Parliament.UK
The committee stage of the Clause 50 Bill will be on Monday and Wednesday, so next week is when amendments for EU citizens will be voted on in the Lords. The most important ones (amendments 26 and 38) are to take unilateral action to guarantee EU citizens in the UK their rights. Because of this, now is the time to bombard peers and MPs with our demands. 
Below are templates of letters to send (by UK nationals in the EU or by their family and friends). 
Here is a List of crossbench and Tory peers to target in the next few days. There is a list of Labour peers at the end of this document. You can find your MP here.

Templates:

PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMITS IN SPAIN FOR UK NATIONALS

At the moment, UK nationals in Spain can get Permanent Residence (PR) in Spain as European citizens after five accredited years in the country. This means that you have to have been registered as a European citizen and to have paid tax in this country (and Seguridad Social if you have been working). When Britain leaves the EU, these permits will presumably become PRs for non-EU citizens. Permanent Residence for non-EU citizens does not provide the same rights as EU citizenship and specifies more conditions, but does guarantee the ability to continue working and living in Spain. This is a relief for many of us, though if you want to conserve your full rights, it is best to apply for Spanish nationality (information coming shortly) unless UK nationals are given full European citizenship which is what we are fighting for
If you are in the country and do not have your papers in order, we strongly advise you to register as a European citizen as soon as possible, as well as registering with your town hall (empadronamiento). This was also advice given by the UK ambassador when we met him two weeks ago. 


jueves, 23 de febrero de 2017

EUROCITIZENS PARTICIPA EN UN ACTO DEL MOVIMIENTO EUROPEO SOBRE EL IMPACTO DEL BREXIT EN LA CIUDADANÍA

El miércoles 22 de febrero dos representantes de EuroCitizens participaron en una reunión sobre las implicaciones del Brexit para la ciudadanía británica y española. El almuerzo de trabajo se celebró en el Centro Riojano en Madrid y fue organizado por el Movimiento Europeo en España. Asistieron políticos como Soraya Rodríguez, presidenta de la Comisión de Brexit del Congreso de los Diputados, catedráticos, diplomáticos, periodistas y profesionales de distintos ámbitos relacionados con temas europeos.
   

Miguel Ángel Benedicto, Michael Harris, Eugenio Nasarre, Chris Dottie, Nacho Morais, Soraya Rodríguez
Eugenio Nasarre, presidente del Movimiento Europeo,
hizo la introducción, destacando los valores europeos de tolerancia y colaboración entre naciones que han permitido sesenta años de paz en la mayor parte de Europa, después de siglos de conflictos.
   Michael Harris, vice-presidente de EuroCitizens explicó los objetivos de su grupo: conservar los derechos de ciudadanía europea para los británicos en España y los derechos actuales de los españoles en el Reino Unido, además de trabajar por una Europa abierta y tolerante. Mencionó las preocupaciones de los residentes británicos en España: la pérdida de puestos de trabajo, la asistencia sanitaria, las pensiones, la educación universitaria en el Reino Unido. Pidió ayuda a los asistentes para garantizar el futuro de los tres millones de europeos en el Reino Unido y los 1,2 millones de británicos en la UE.
  Christopher Dottie, presidente de la Cámara de Comercio Británica en España comentó los efectos del Brexit para la economía y el empleo en España. Destacó el gran número de empresas británicas en España, el alto nivel de inversión británica y los puestos de trabajo que se han creado. Lamentó la salida del Reino Unido de la UE, pero dijo que las empresas deberán aceptar la nueva situación y trabajar dentro de los nuevos parámetros.
   Ignacio Morais, un activista pro-europeo que vive en Londres, describió la situación de los españoles y otros ciudadanos europeos en el Reino Unido; en algunas zonas del país hay un ambiente complicado para los inmigrantes y han aumentado los crimenes de odio desde el referendum. Detalló los problemas de los ciudadanos europeos para conseguir la residencia permanente, debido a la necesidad de tener un seguro médico privado y demostrar un nivel de ingresos. Para algunos colectivos como los padres dedicados a cuidar a sus hijos, esto es casi imposible.
   Se abrió el acto a un debate y se trataron los siguientes temas: la reversibilidad o no del Brexit; el porqué del resultado del referendum; la falta de doble nacionalidad entre británicos y españoles; la situación en Escocia e Irlanda del Norte; los derechos humanos en la Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea. Todos los asistentes expresaron su apoyo para la causa de EuroCitizens y para los españoles en el Reino Unido.
   EuroCitizens quiere agradecer al Movimiento Europeo y al Centro Riojano su interés. El acto nos dio la oportunidad de explicar la situación tan complicada de muchos ciudadanos británicos y españoles que viven con futuros inciertos bajo la sombra del Brexit. 

Después del acto con Nacho Morais (West London for Europe) y Carlos Uriarte y Miguel Ángel Benedicto del Movimiento Europeo

EUROCITIZENS PARTICIPATES IN HIGH-PROFILE EVENT ABOUT THE IMPACT OF BREXIT

Photo: El Movimiento Europeo
On Wednesday 22 February two representatives of EuroCitizens participated in a meeting about the implications of Brexit on British and Spanish citizens and on the economies of the two countries. The working lunch was held in the Centro Riojano in Madrid and was organised by El Movimiento Europeo en España. Among the thirty participants were politicians like Soraya Rodríguez, president of the Brexit commission of the Congreso de los Diputados. There were also university professors, diplomats and professionals from different areas specialising in European affairs. Key members of both the Spanish and international press were present.
Miguel Ángel Benedicto, Michael Harris, Eugenio Nasarre, Chris Dottie, Ignacio Morais, Soraya Rodríguez
 

    Eugenio Nasarre, president of el Movimiento Europeo, introduced the meeting by highlighting the European values of tolerance and cooperation which have enabled sixty years of peace throughout most of Europe after centuries of conflict.   
     Michael Harris, vice-president of EuroCitizens, outlined the aims of the group: to fight for the European citizenship rights of UK nationals in Spain and for the rights of Spaniards in the UK as well as for a more open and tolerant Europe. He mentioned some of the most pressing concerns of Britons such as job security, higher education in the UK, healthcare and pensions. He requested assistance from the influential people present to guarantee the futures of the 3 million Europeans in the UK and the 1.2 million Britons in the EU.
      Christopher Dottie, president of the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain, spoke about the implications of Brexit for the economy and for employment. He highlighted the number of British companies in Spain, the level of British investment and the number of jobs it created. He expressed regret about the UK leaving the UK, but said that business people should accept the new situation and get on with the job.
      Ignacio Morais, a pro-European activist living in London, explained the position of Spanish and other European citizens in the UK. He described the difficult atmosphere for immigrants in some parts of Britain, with a marked increase in hate crimes since the referendum. He talked about the problems EU citizens face to get Permanent Residence, due to the complex nature of the process and specifications such as the need to have private health insurance and prove a regular income. This for groups like full-time parents, handicapped people and pensioners is virtually impossible.
     In the question and answer session, the following topics were discussed: the inevitabilty or not of Brexit and the reasons for it happening; the lack of dual British/Spanish nationality; the situations of Scotland and Northern Ireland; human rights, European rights and the European Court of Justice. All the speakers from the floor expressed warm support for our cause and for that of Europeans in the UK.
   EuroCitizens would like to thank the Movimiento Europeo for all their support and for organising the meeting and to the Centro Riojano for hosting it. The event gave us an excellent opportunity to explain the difficult situation of British and Spanish citizens living under the shadow of Brexit.

EUROCITIZENS MEET WITH DIRECTOR OF CONSULAR SERVICES AND HM CONSUL IN MADRID

Sarah-Jane Morris and Julia Longbottom  Photo: EuroWeekly News
On Tuesday 21 February, six members of EuroCitizens had a meeting with Julia Longbottom (Director of Consular Services FCO London) and Sarah-Jane Morris, HM Consul in Madrid.

   As well as discussing the issues outlined in the report handed to the Ambassador, the EuroCitizens reps brought up matters relating to the implications of Brexit on our personal situations, such as the increased cost of students resident in Spain studying at UK universities, health care, permits to reside and work in Spain for employed and self-employed UK citizens, problems with recruiting UK staff for British schools and language schools, pension rights, the cost to British  and international schools of the greater difficulty to study at UK universities.
    The Embassy representatives listened attentively to all our concerns and were sympathetic, and repeated that our situation and that of EU nationals in the UK is a priority  for the British PM, and that the Spanish authorities at national, regional and local level also want to resolve these matters early on in the Brexit negotiations once article 50 has been triggered.
    We reiterated our request that the Consulate provide a helpline for UK citizens in Spain. We also discussed how the statistics for British nationals resident in Spain may be inaccurate, as many people who should register don’t, and also many people who have valid residential papers in Spain have left the country .
    Julia Longbottom mentioned that the FCO and DEXEU were grateful for our Brexit report and that it had received highly complimentary comments from London and that our position is well-articulated therein. Sarah-Jane asked us to keep up-dating and adding to the report, and inform her of these changes.
    The Consul asked us what the final objective of the Eurocitizens’ campaign is, to which a member replied that we are aiming to retain all of our present rights as EU citizens, and also be granted the possibility of holding dual nationality by Spain.

     Sarah-Jane also urged Eurocitizens to pressure and lobby the  Spanish authorities as much as possible to achieve our aims, including their acceptance of dual nationality for UK citizens. She also mentioned that a white paper on ‘votes for life’ is in preparation to be put forward to Parliament during this legislature, so maybe one day we will be reenfranchised.

miércoles, 22 de febrero de 2017

AMENDMENT OF UK CITIZENS IN EUROPE TO BE DEBATED IN THE LORDS

Lord Oates   Photo: Libdems
Via the nascent platform of UK Citizens in the EU, EuroCitizens and its allies like Brexpats in Spain and Bremain have managed to get the following amendment to the Article 50 bill introduced for debate in the Lords by Lord Oates (LibDem). This was the result of mass  lobbying of peers and shows how, by joining forces, UK citizens in the EU CAN shape the debate. Even if the amendment does not prosper , this means that our rights are being debated and taken seriously.

United Kingdom citizens in the European Union and EU citizens in the UK

(1)   It must be a priority for Her Majesty’s Government in negotiations under the process set out in Article 50 to reach an early agreement to confirm the rights of EEA citizens and their families resident in the United Kingdom, and United Kingdom citizens and their families resident in the European Economic Area.

(2)   No Minister of the Crown may agree to arrangements under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, taking account of the framework for the future relationship, unless those arrangements permit and support the continuance of—

(a)    the existing rights of EEA citizens and their families resident in the United Kingdom at the date of withdrawal; and

(b)   the existing rights of United Kingdom citizens and their families resident in the European Economic Area at the date of withdrawal.”

martes, 21 de febrero de 2017

BREXIT AND UK NATIONALS IN SPAIN (5): HEALTHCARE

Caroline Abrahams of Age UK has said (BBC Jan 2017) that it was an "anxious time" for retired expats: "We know that reciprocal healthcare arrangements are a vital safety net and people are likely to have made the decision to live overseas based on their existence. Without that safety net many may feel they have no choice but to return." This could directly affect the more than 100,000 UK pensioners living in Spain.

Reciprocal health agreements are in place between all of the countries of the European Economic Area (EU + Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein). This means that anybody possessing a European Health Insurance Card can get medical treatment free or at reduced cost in a European country that is not their own. This affects temporary visitors and tourists, but also covers pensioners actually resident in another country (and who have not paid into the system). There is a large discrepancy between the number of UK pensioners in Europe and the number of EEA pensioners in the UK, as Britain is not a country of choice for retirement. There are 145,000 UK pensioners in EEA countries and 4,000 EEA pensioners in the UK (BBC Jan 2017). The UK pays other countries 773 million pounds and receives 51 million.

If the UK leaves the EEA, these arrangements will have to be renegotiated. This should not affect UK nationals who have paid national insurance in their European country of residence throughout their working lives. But it could mean that thousands of UK pensioners will have to return home if their healthcare is not fully covered.

Here are some of the concerns of UK nationals in Spain: 

Public healthcare:
Will the current healthcare arrangements for UK citizens in Spain remain in force, after Brexit?
Will the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) still be valid for British citizens resident in Spain when visiting the UK?
 

Private health insurance:
If, on the contrary, UK residents in Spain lose their right to healthcare from the Spanish health services, I may be forced to take out private medical insurance but:
- Will I be able to afford it?
- Will I be able to find an insurance company willing to take me on at my age or in my state of health? 

- Could I ever find myself in a position in which no government accepts responsibility for my care, even though I may have contributed to the health system of the “wrong” country all through my working life?

BREXIT AND UK NATIONALS IN SPAIN (4) THE RIGHT TO WORK AND DO BUSINESS

As EU citizens in Spain, UK nationals have been able to work, run businesses and receive benefits in exactly the same way as Spanish citizens, without the need for any work permit. EU citizens and their family members are also explicitly protected from discrimination on grounds of nationality within the scope of EU law. This includes access to employment, recognition of qualifications, public sector employment, working conditions, occupational pensions, vocational training, access to self-employment and social protection. The EU provides protection against discrimination for non-EU residents too, but they need to apply for work permits and go through stringent procedures to renew their residence permits. What will happen when the UK leaves the EU? Below are some of the questions that our members have asked. The answers will depend on the kind of agreement that is reached between the EU and the UK (or between Spain and the UK) about our future status. Because of this we are fighting to maintain all our EU citizenship rights.

Employees (trabajadores a cuenta ajena):
-Will I now need a work permit to stay in my current job?
- Even if I don’t need a work permit to stay where I am, will I need one if I change my job?

Employers (trabajadores a cuenta propia):
-My business is focussed on the UK expat community and many of my staff are UK nationals. Will I have to apply for work permits for them all, once the UK leaves the EU?
If their applications are rejected, will I have a legal obligation to dismiss them against my will and who will be liable for compensation if I am then sued for unfair dismissal?
- I have a seasonal need for temporary staff with UK experience and/or qualifications. Will I need work permits for these workers too?
- I run a business in Spain, employing Spanish (and other) staff. Will I still be allowed to run the business? Will I need a specific permit? If I am not allowed to continue to operate the business, will the UK government compensate me for inevitable costs of dismissal and closing down the company, or selling it at a loss?
Professional qualifications:

-My qualifications to practise a regulated profession (e.g. doctor, dentist, nurse, veterinary surgeon, teacher, lawyer, architect, auditor, etc.) were recognised under European Directives. Will that recognition be maintained or will I have to re-apply as a non-EU national? Will I have to undertake and pay for expensive further studies to re-qualify in my profession in order to comply with Spanish regulations?'
Public sector employment:
- I got my current, public-sector job (e.g nurse, teacher, fireman, ambulance driver, municipal worker) through an “oposición” or competitive examination open to Spanish and other EU nationals. Will my “oposición” result still stand once I am no longer an EU national? Will I be entitled to sit further examinations to get promotion with the public sector?
Self-employed professionals:

- I am a registered self-employed professional (lawyer, translator, English teacher, consultant, etc.) with the freedom to offer my services to people and companies within Spain. Will I continue to enjoy this right post-Brexit? If I am, will I have to apply for a permit and under what conditions?
Social protection:
- Will my cumulative pension rights acquired in two or more EU countries continue to be recognised?
- I have worked in Spain for several years but I am now out of work/unable to work through illness and I am currently receiving an unemployment/disability allowance through the Spanish social security system. Will I maintain my rights to receive such allowances once I am no longer an EU citizen?

lunes, 20 de febrero de 2017

EUROPEAN CITIZENS' INITIATIVE: EUROPEAN PASSPORTS

EuroCitizens supports the campaign of Bremain in Spain for European passports. The aim of the campaign is to persuade the European Union to issue EU passports to any EU citizens that are at risk of losing their rights and freedoms, in this case, as a result of Brexit. You do not have to be a UK Citizen or a resident of Spain to take part!

Go to: http://www.bremaininspain.com/events/choose-freedom/

BREXIT AND UK NATIONALS IN SPAIN (3): THE RIGHT OF ABODE

At present, the entire population of UK residents in Spain is entitled to live here as EU citizens under EU law (Directive 2004/38) and they presently constitute a homogeneous whole. However, this will disappear once Brexit kicks in unless the current status quo is maintained.

UK expats would subdivide into these groups:
a) Those who arrived before or after Spain joined the EU, who registered as EU residents and who have renewed their registration after five years.
b) Those who have registered as EU residents but who will not have lived here for the full five years when Brexit becomes effective.
c) Those who have lived here without registering as EU residents.

At the moment, there is no clarity as to whether all residents will be treated in the same way or, if differentiation between the categories is applied, what conditions might be applied for continued residence in Spain to the members of each category.
 

Many long-term residents may be able to rely on Council Directive 2003/109 post Brexit, which would allow them to apply for a right of “long-term residence” as non-EU nationals. However, unlike the right of permanent residence granted to EU citizens, which is automatic after living legally and continuously in a EU country for five years, there are conditions attached to this application.  In addition to proving five years’ residence, they must be able to prove that they have “stable and regular economic resources” to support themselves and their families without recourse to social assistance and health insurance in respect of all risks normally covered for nationals of the EU country where they reside. Moreover, there may be integration requirements attached e.g. language and other requirements.  Finally, the rights attached to this right of residence are far more limited than those acquired by EU citizens with permanent residence.
 

In summary, no member of the UK community in Spain feels that they have any certain guarantee to remain in Spain once the UK is no longer a member of the European Union.
Some UK citizens may be in a position to apply for Spanish citizenship (fulfilling conditions specified by the Spanish government such as 10 years residence). Although in Spain dual UK/Spanish nationality is not allowed, in practice it is possible to hold both passports and to actually lose your UK passport you need to go through a complex process.
However, many UK citizens are proud of their origins and would not want to give up the citizenship of their birth or risk problems in the future.

BREXIT AND UK NATIONALS IN SPAIN (2): THE HUMAN COST

Madrid Players  madridplayers.org
In recent months, some British politicians have made blithe assertions that UK nationals in the EU have nothing to fear from the Britain's departure from the EU. However, it is clear that they are not aware of our concerns and are not even consulting us, despite the claims of Brexit minister David Davis. For example, EuroCitizens has been attempting to meet up with an all-party parliamentary committee which will be visiting Spain shortly, so far without success. It is important to make UK and European politicians realise that Brexit could have a terrible human cost: forced repatriation, the break-up of families and even the break-up of communities.

Returning to the UK:
A falling pound, any freezing of UK pensions, the loss of rights to reside, work or run a business in Spain are all factors that could potentially force large numbers of expats to relocate back to the UK, forcing them to start afresh in the "old" country where many will feel strangers after a long absence because many of their old friends will have died or moved away and the landscape of the cities and towns they grew up in will have changed. 


The end of expat communities:
Organic communities of UK expatriates, Spaniards and other nationals, have grown up all over Spain with their many charitable associations, amateur dramatic societies, choirs, sports clubs and other interest groups. If these communities become eroded by the enforced return to the UK of many of their members, the trauma of disruption would hit not only those who have to leave against their will but also those who stay behind. The uncertainties of the situation are already causing great concern across the whole expat community in Spain, especially as no one can be certain about what the outcome will be for them personally. A large-scale exodus will also impact on the many plumbers, electricians, gardeners, butchers, bakers and web-page makers who mainly serve the British expat community. Many will also be forced to pack their bags and return to the UK following in the footsteps of their departing customers.
 

Financial ruin:
Enforced return to the UK will be even worse for the victims of the Spanish property slump with many holding negative equity mortgages on houses and flats that are now difficult or impossible to sell. Even those lucky enough to sell, will never be able to be able to acquire a property in the UK anything like the one they sold before moving to Spain, given that property prices in both countries have moved sharply in opposite directions. 

Family break up:

In some cases, some forced returnees may have to leave behind their Spanish-born children and grandchildren.

BREXIT AND UK NATIONALS IN SPAIN: (1) WHAT COULD HAPPEN?

Since the accession of Spain to the European Union in 1986, with the exception of some voting rights, UK citizens in Spain have enjoyed exactly the same rights and obligations as their Spanish neighbours. Our right to live, work, do business, study, marry and have children here has never been questioned. Some of us are even councillors in our local communities. All of this is about to change drastically with the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. 

How it could happen:
1. European law or its derogation with regard to UK citizens in Europe as a result of Brexit
2. Agreement or otherwise between the UK and the European Union on the terms of British disengagement
3. Any bilateral agreements between the UK and individual EU countries post-Brexit
4. External factors such as exchange rate movements reflecting political and economic developments
5. Unilateral action by the British government (e.g. policy on pension payments to pensioners who remain in the EU).


The right of abode is not enough:
The principal issue for all UK citizens is the continued right to live in their EU country of adoption (the right to remain as it has been christened elsewhere), as it is for all EU citizens who have made their home in the UK. In most cases, our residence predates the appearance of Article 50 in the Treaty of Lisbon. The rights we currently enjoy and which helped persuade us to move away from our home countries did not have an expiry date stamped on them. We urgently need reassurances about this most basic of rights. Having said that, the right to abode in Spain is meaningless without all the other accompanying rights that make our continued presence in Spain feasible, whether this is the right to work, study, do business or continue to draw the pensions towards which we have contributed throughout our working lives.

The need to make our voice heard:
The Prime Minister has said that “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain”. No government would deliberately inflict pain and suffering on its own citizens but it could easily do so unwittingly if it is not made aware of the likely consequences of an uncontrolled Brexit on the UK expat community resident in the European Union.

The best way of doing this is by joining an association of UK nationals in Spain:

EuroCitizens (Madrid) https://www.facebook.com/EuroCitizens-1119482284794200/    

ECREU: http://www.ecreu.com

Bremain in Spain (Valencia) http://www.bremaininspain.com/ 

Brexpats in Spain: http://brexpats.es/


domingo, 19 de febrero de 2017

EUROCITIZENS: WE WANT FULL EU CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS, NOT RESIDENCE PERMITS

On 18 February, EuroCitizens held its fifth monthly meeting in Madrid. Our group is making significant progress in getting the voice of UK nationals in Spain heard and increasing awareness of the insecurity facing hundreds of thousands of families due to the EU referendum. A key point that came out of our meeting was the importance of maintaining our European citizenship, not just having resident permits. Residence is insufficient unless accompanied by full EU rights.
   

   Our treasurer updated us on the registration figures and our data protection policy. We now have 350 associates, double that of early January and we aim to have over a thousand by Easter. Various members of the committee then informed us about our contacts with other groups around Spain like Bremain (Valencia), Brexpats (Malaga) and ECREU. We have also established close links with the group ‘Españoles en el Reino Unido’. Journalist and writer Giles Tremlett is our representative in a new umbrella group of UK citizens in Europe which presented an Alternative Round Paper two weeks ago and which is coordinating lobbying efforts both in Westminster and Brussels.
    Three members of the committee reported on their recent meeting with Simon Manley, HM Ambassador to Spain. They presented him with a document about the concerns of UK nationals which will be passed on to the Department for Leaving the European Union. They also suggested a hotline for Britons to ring the embassy with their concerns. We will continue to use all official channels available to get our voice heard. On Tuesday 21 February, six members of EuroCitizens will participate in a focus group in Madrid with the Director of Consular Services.

   EuroCitizens is beginning to make an impact in the press. Two weeks ago there was an in-depth article about our group in Veinte Minutos (artículo). This week we will appear in Espejo Público in Antena 3. On 2 March a member of EuroCitizens will participate in a BBC programme in Malaga about the impact of Brexit. On Wednesday 22 March we will participate in a working lunch organised by el Movimiento Europeo to which high-profile journalists have been invited. 
   To finish our meeting we discussed the organisation of the round table on 8 March in the building of the European Parliament in Madrid. We have five participants: an MEP, a representative of ‘Españoles en el RU’, speakers on health, education and legal aspects. This will be our first big public event and will be a major opportunity to get across our demands

domingo, 12 de febrero de 2017

EUROCITIZENS FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: FIGHTING TO GET OUR VOICE HEARD

From International Business Times
EuroCitizens is a group of UK nationals in the Madrid region who are fighting for our EU citizenship rights and those of Spanish residents in Britain. We started in September last year and have gained momentum since our first public event in November. 
 

  Last week (09/02/17), three representatives of EuroCitizens met Simon Manley, UK ambassador in Spain. We presented him with a report about the concerns of our members over the loss of their EU citizenship rights. We communicated to him the high levels of distress and anxiety about the future that the more than 300,000 UK nationals in Spain are facing. EuroCitizens also requested that, bearing in mind the closeness of the triggering of Article 50, the Embassy and consulate increase communication with and practical support for UK nationals in Spain. We will be putting a series of articles on our blog about the possible impact of Brexit on our lives.
   Next week, we will be holding our fifth monthly meeting in Madrid (18/02: 12H Bar La Funda-Mental, C/Argumosa, 12, metro: Lavapiés línea 3, Atocha, línea 3). There will be reports from the five working groups: communication/social media, media/events, networking, support. Even if you cannot come to the meeting, if you would like to volunteer, get in touch with us. Even if you just have an hour or two a week, it can be useful. Everything helps.
   One of the problems in getting our voice heard in Westminster and Brussels is the number of different groups of UK nationals around Europe. To overcome this a platform called UK citizens in Europe has been set up. Two weeks ago, EuroCitizens and a dozen other groups sent an Alternative White Paper in the context of the parliamentary debates about activating Clause 50. We asked for full EU citizenship rights to be maintained and expressed the concerns of UK expats. This week, the umbrella group worked together again to request a meeting with David Davis, secretary of state for exiting the EU.
   On 22 February, three members of EuroCitizens will be taking part in a working lunch organised by el Movimiento Europeo about the impact of Brexit on citizenship rights. Then on 8 March we will be organising a round table in the building of the European Parliament in Madrid. We will have high profile speakers like Ignacio Sánchez Amor, spokesman on the Brexit committee of the Congreso de los Diputados. We will analyse the impact of the UK’s departure from the EU on these areas: work and living, education, health. 
   If you want to register with us and receive information, please go to https://fastfor.ms/14CAD 

Alternative White Paper: http://www.ecreu.com/pdfs/alternative-white-paper-presented-by-UK-%20citizens-in-europe.pdf 

sábado, 11 de febrero de 2017

THE AMBASSADOR'S MESSAGE TO UK CITIZENS IN SPAIN

On Thursday 9 February, three representatives of EuroCitizens met with Simon Manley, UK ambassador in Spain. Next week, we will provide a full summary of the meeting in which we presented a detailed report about the concerns of our members and many other UK nationals in Spain. We highlighted the extreme anxiety and distress currently being experienced by the over 300,000 British and Northern Irish citizens in this country. Our futures have been put in jeopardy by the threatened removal of our EU citizenship rights. Below is a short message from Simon Manley, urging UK nationals to get their paperwork in order, report any problems and work with groups like EuroCitizens (Madrid), Bremain (Valencia) and Brexpats. 

 

jueves, 9 de febrero de 2017

UK NATIONALS AROUND THE EU REQUEST URGENT MEETING WITH DAVID DAVIS

Today, 09/02, EuroCitizens has coordinated with groups of UK nationals around Europe to request a meeting with David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. This platform of associations last week drew up an Alternative White Paper specifying the concerns of UK citizens in Europe and asking for recognition of all existing European citizenship rights. Now we are requesting involvement in future consultations with the department for leaving the EU. While Brexit moves inexorably closer we, along with hundreds of thousands of other UK nationals, feel that our voice is not being heard in Westminster. 


We are writing on behalf of Eurocitizens, a group of nearly two hundred UK citizens residing in and around Madrid. Today, three of our members are meeting HM Ambassador in Madrid, Simon Manley, and will present him with a report reflecting the concerns of our members about the implications of Brexit for our futures. 

We were amongst the groups who gave evidence to the Parliamentary Committee on Brexit on January 18. We also formed part of a platform of over a dozen associations of UK nationals in Europe which last week drew up an Alternative White Paper (attached). We believe that this is now the largest grouping of expats working on this issue. All of the associations, which are based throughout Europe, agree that the one million citizens in residence in the EU prior to Brexit should keep all current rights - not just those concerning residence - and need an agreement on this as soon as possible, with a similar arrangement for EU citizens already resident in the UK.

We note that the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, told the House of Commons last week that "we have engaged a range of stakeholders, including expatriate groups, to ensure we understand the priorities of UK nationals living in EU countries". We have not been approached. Indeed, some of our groups have found it difficult to communicate with the department. We wish to be included in future consultations and would like to take this opportunity to ask department ministers to talk to us when they visit our countries of residence. We also request an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State in order to explain to him our concerns in person.





jueves, 2 de febrero de 2017

18/02: MONTHLY MEETING OF EUROCITIZENS AS CLAUSE 50 GETS CLOSER

On Saturday 18 February (12H) Eurocitizens will hold its fifth monthly meeting. Due to the numbers of people who attended last time, we have found a larger and hopefully more comfortable venue (also in Lavapiés). We will have a lot to talk about as our activity is becoming frenetic, with many upcoming events. We will send a more detailed progress report before 18 February.
Please share this with other UK nationals in Spain or Spanish citizens in the UK. The next few weeks and months will be crucial in our fight to maintain all of our citizenship rights. 

To register with Eurocitizens, go to our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/EuroCitizens-1119482284794200/ 

LOS BRITÁNICOS EN ESPAÑA EXIGEN MANTENER SUS DERECHOS COMO CIUDADANOS EUROPEOS

Eurocitizens (Madrid) Bremain in Spain (Valencia) y Brexpats in Spain (Andalucia) se han unido con otros grupos de residentes británicos en Europa para luchar por sus derechos. Exigen a Theresa May que llegue a un acuerdo inmediato para preservar los derechos de ciudadanía que existían en el Reino Unido y la Unión Europea antes del referendum del Brexit.

El mismo día en que el gobierno británico ha publicado un Libro Blanco sobre el Artículo 50 y las negociaciones con la UE, varios grupos de ciudadanos británicos han publicado un Libro Blanco Alternativo (enlace abajo). Este documento expresa las preocupaciones que tienen los británicos en la UE y los europeos en el RU sobre su futuro: si podrán residir, trabajar, llevar un negocio o estudiar en su actual país de residencia después de la salida de Gran Bretaña de Europa.

El documento pide más que sencillos permisos de residencia para el millón de británicos en Europa y los tres millones de europeos en el RU. Exigen la preservación de la ciudadanía europea: el derecho de trabajar por cuenta ajena o cuenta propia; llevar un negocio; homologar sus títulos; moverse entre países europeos sin pérder sus derechos; el acceso a la sanidad, las pensiones; ejercer los derechos políticos etc.

Es la primera vez que grupos de inmigrantes británicos en Europa han trabajado juntos. Piden que sus reclamaciones estén resueltas antes de la activación de la Cláusula 50. Una de los autores del libro alternativo, Jane Golding, dijo: 'después del fallo de la Tribunal Supremo del Reino Unido, los diputados británicos tienen la oportunidad y la responsabilidad de condicionar la aprobación del proyecto de ley a la salvaguarda de los derechos y el futuro de un millón de británicos y tres millones de europeos.' Jeremy Morgan añadió que 'el libro blanco alternativo demuestra la situación compleja de las personas que se han ido a vivir en otro país de la UE. Si no se garantizan todos sus derechos, muchos ciudadanos tendrán que volver a sus países de origen.


Link to ‘UK Citizens in Europe - Towards an Alternative White Paper’
http://www.ecreu.com/pdfs/alternative-white-paper-presented-by-UK-%20citizens-in-europe.pdf

BRITISH RESIDENTS IN SPAIN DEMAND THE PRESERVATION OF THEIR EU CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS

Adapted from ITV News
Eurocitizens (Madrid) Bremain in Spain (Valencia) and Brexpats in Spain (Andalucia), as well as other groups representing UK residents across Europe, have joined forces to fight for their rights. They are calling on Theresa May to make an immediate agreement to preserve the rights of citizens which were in place in the UK and the EU before the Brexit referendum.

On the day of the Government’s White Paper publication and as the European Union Withdrawal Bill goes to committee stage, groups of UK nationals have presented ‘UK Citizens in Europe - Towards an Alternative White Paper’. This document sets out the concerns about being able to live, work, run a business or study in the European countries where many have made lives for themselves and their families.

‘UK Citizens in Europe’ demands not just continued residence rights for the one million UK citizens and the three million EU citizens in the UK, but the preservation of full EU citizenship rights: ‘the acquisition of citizenship, the right to continue to work, whether employed or self- employed, or run a business, recognition of qualifications, right to study, right of equal treatment, right to move between and work freely across all EU countries without loss or change of any existing EU rights, the right to healthcare, pensions, social benefits/social assistance etc.’

This is the first time that organisations of British citizens all around Europe have worked together. They are calling for their serious concerns to be acted on before Article 50 is triggered. One of the authors of the alternative white paper, Jane Golding, said: ‘‘following the Supreme Court ruling, UK MPs have both the opportunity and the clear responsibility to make approval of the bill to trigger Article 50 conditional on safeguarding the rights and livelihoods of over a million UK citizens living in Europe (as well as around 3 million EU citizens in the UK).  This should happen at the earliest opportunity.” Jeremy Morgan QC added that: "our paper shows the complex position of individuals who have moved to another EU country.  It is clear that unless all rights are preserved, many people will have no choice but to give up their homes and their lives and return to their country of origin.” 

Link to ‘UK Citizens in Europe - Towards an Alternative White Paper’
http://www.ecreu.com/pdfs/alternative-white-paper-presented-by-UK-%20citizens-in-europe.pdf