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 Mission to Brussels on the eve of Brexit
 
Dear Briton in Europe,

This has been a huge week for us. In the face of so much uncertainty amongst Britons in Europe, we have launched a massive information campaign to tell BiE members exactly what the Withdrawal Agreement means for our rights. If you missed any of it, you can find everything on our website.

Along with our friends from the3million, on Wednesday and Thursday co-chairs Jane Golding and Fiona Godfrey met key MEPs in the European Parliament and officials from the Article 50 Task Force at the European Commission. They highlighted the plight of Britons in the EU who still have no idea about how the twenty-seven member states plan to deal with us throughout the eleven months of the transition period and beyond. They pressed for clear EU guidelines and monitoring to ensure that Britons are treated fairly and consistently in our host countries - and that our rights are fully respected.

As we come to the end of the first week of our crowdfunder appeal, we're giving you a basic idea of how BiE works. Only a very small percentage of our activities occur in the public eye and most of our work goes on behind the scenes (see below).


So far we have raised over 20,000€ through our crowdfunder campaign. We would like to thank all the contributors, and there have been some particularly generous donations including one of 1,000€. However, as we explained in our GoFundMe targets, what we have received so far is simply not enough.

We still need more financial help to allow us to finish the job. Please help us reach our targets. 
Donate now.

With best wishes,

BiE Steering Group


* If you have any problems with links, go to the BiE website to find our WA information campaign: https://britishineurope.org/
Brussels photos:
Top. Jane and Fiona with Ilse and Dimitri of the3million
Middle: Putting on a brave face at the reception after the European Parliament plenary in which the Withdrawal Agreement was approved
Bottom: Fiona speaking at a Pro-Europa rally / meeting Green MEP Terry Reintke to discuss the new EU-UK friendship group
SO WHAT DO WE REALLY DO?

The public face of BiE
Our members see the high-profile meetings of Jane, Jeremy and Fiona with secretaries of state and high-profile figures such as Michel Barnier and Guy Verhofstadt. They watch when we give evidence to parliamentary committees, when we make speeches at the European Parliament or when we appear on Sky News or the BBC. However, that is a mere fraction of what we do.

Behind the scenes
Most of the meetings we attend are with top civil servants, where we deal off-the-record with the nitty-gritty of how British citizens in the EU are affected by Brexit. To prepare for all of our advocacy work we must carry out extensive research and legal analysis before drafting reports (you can find them on our website). We also collect case studies from our grassroots groups to show officials and politicians the human cost of the measures that they take.

Providing accurate, clear information
A major task for us is to communicate the information that we gather through our advocacy to Britons in Europe. Our current information campaign on the Withdrawal Agreement is an excellent example and is the result of weeks of work over the Christmas holidays. Once our material is prepared, a concerted effort is needed to effectively communicate it to the people we represent through the website, social media and the newsletter.

Keeping the show on the road
Finally, we get to the cogs and wheels that keep our organisation going. After all, British in Europe is a coalition of UK citizens' groups from all around the EU. This makes it vital to coordinate with our grassroots teams from Sweden to Spain and from Greece to Germany. We also have the internal running of the association (legally registered in France) with weekly or fortnightly Steering Group calls, planning documents, budgets and accounting. 

So, what do you think? Are we worth a donation? If so, 
make one now!


BiE's back office team:

 BRITISH IN EUROPE GoFundMe APPEAL
 
This week we have raised nearly 21,000€.

We thank everybody for their donations but we need to be frank:

If we get 50,000€ or less, our organisation will be in serious trouble and we will even have to consider closing down. After three years of voluntary work and funding BiE largely from our own pockets, our savings are depleted or exhausted and our businesses and families are in dire need of attention. 

So, please: 
Donate here.
 
Spotlight on BiE groups

EuroCitizens has campaigned for the citizens' rights of Britons in Spain since the autumn of 2016. This Madrid-based group has successfully lobbied the Spanish central governmnent on issues like no-deal contingency plans and citizenship applications. Our highlighting of the delays in processing applications led to a government action plan which has speeded up procedures - most of our members now obtain citizenship after months rather than years. EuroCitizens has organised demonstrations, round tables at the European Parliament HQ in Madrid and a concert (´música sin fronteras`). The association works closely with BiE groups on the coast. 
 
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