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Countdown to Brexit
Dear Briton in Europe,

In ten days Britain will leave the European Union after nearly fifty years in the common European project. For British in Europe, Brexit will be a sad event - it will end our EU citizenship, reduce our rights and weaken our European identity.

However, this is a time for action. At an individual level, we must find out what the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) really means for us and our families. This is not so easy as, in both the press and on social media, misleading information is rife, muddling up the WA with no-deal contingency plans and confusing a 'no withdrawal agreement deal' with a potential no deal on trade. Because of this, British in Europe has been hard at work since before Christmas on producing a comprehensive information pack for our members, outlining what the WA means for UKinEU.

first installment is Kalba Meadows' lucid introduction to what the Withdrawal Agreement does and how this international treaty guarantees our rights throughout our lifetimes - regardless of what happens in future trade talks. Next week we will publish detailed information on: residence rights, work and professional rights, healthcare, pensions and social security, family reunification and what is not included in the agreement.

At the same time we will launch a fundraising campaign to enable BiE to continue lobbying at full throttle throughout 2020. We will outline what needs to be done to defend citizens' rights throughout the crucial transition period and we will set targets for the financial support that is needed to do this.

On the advocacy front we have hit the ground running after the Christmas break. Last week Jane and Fiona were in London to meet Foreign Office minister Chris Pincher, opposition politicians and FCO/DExEU officials, primarily to discuss implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, as well as issues like the rights of returning British citizens and student fees. Meanwhile, BiE groups in countries like Germany and Spain have been engaging with their embassies and national governments to find out how the WA will be implemented. Along with the3million, we have written to Michel Barnier about EU-wide coordination of measures affecting Britons in the EU and about outstanding issues such as continuing free movement, which will come up in EU/UK trade negotiations. In Brussels we are also renewing contacts with Michel Barnier’s team, the EU Council and MEPs.

Waking up on 1 February with our country out of the EU will not be pleasant, especially as this comes after gruelling years of cliff edges and uncertainty. But the best way of dealing with the disappointment is by getting up to speed on the issues, sharing information with friends and contributing to our fundraising campaign. If you have been following events, you will know that British in Europe and the3million have made a huge contribution to highlighting citizens' rights issues. Our groups have brought them to the table at the very highest level, running coordinated campaigns in Westminster, Brussels and the EU-27.

Please help us to keep doing this during the critical transition period and 
donate now.*

With best wishes for 2020,

British in Europe Steering Group

Your donation will be included as part of our 2020 fundraising campaign.
Click on the box to read BiE's introduction to the Withdrawal Agreement:
15/01/20: London lobbying visit
Top: Jane Golding, Paul Blomfield (Shadow Brexit Minister), Fiona Godfrey
Bottom: Jane, Fiona and Chris Pincher (FCO Minister for Europe)

In a whirlwind trip to London, Jane and Fiona met Shadow Brexit Minister, Paul Blomfield, to discuss how to keep citizens' rights on the UK parliamentary agenda. They then met officials from the Foreign Office and DExEU and had a meeting with FCO Minister for Europe, Christopher Pincher. They discussed the application of the Withdrawal Agreement in the EU-27 and the BiE co-chairs brought up issues within the unilateral grant of the UK - like the rights of returning British citizens and family reunification. Finally, they raised UKinEU rights, like continuing freedom of movement within the EU, which have been left out of the WA but will need addressing in future trade negotiations.
Click on image above to get to our donations page.
EU Lobbying

Last Friday BiE and the3million sent a letter to chief negotiator Michel Barnier whom they have met on several occasions. In the letter we highlight issues relating to the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, such as the need for consistency amongst the twenty-seven member states and at regional and local level. We also bring up, yet again, key rights omitted from the WA for UKinEU such as continuing freedom of movement and cross-border service provision.
What are you doing on Brexit night?

Are you going to sit at home and weep over a mug of cocoa or are you going to join your fellow Britons in Europe to show what you think about this fiasco? If you are, please send the information to:

EuroCitizens will hold a group meeting (18.15) on the Withdrawal Agreement and then go for drinks in the bar of the Centro Gallego in central Madrid. To liven things up, a EuroCitizen has adapted Land of Hope and Glory. The lyrics finish thus: 'We have nothing to lose, With our navy-blue passports, And our duty-free booze.'

If you are in Brussels on Thursday 30 January, you can go along to
a party at the Place du Luxembourg:
We ask you to donate and to ask your friends and family to help too so that we can continue the fight for the rights of us all.

Thank you!
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