The last EuroCitizens meeting before the break, and a year after the Brexit referendum, was held at the Centro Gallego 23 June and, considering the date, time and extreme heat, the turn-out was fantastic with a full house. The meeting was extremely productive and good ideas (and volunteers to carry them out) emerged from it. Brexit negotiations have just begun and they promise to be long and arduous. EuroCitizens is ready for this, we are prepared for a long battle to keep our citizenship rights.
Report on meeting:
First, there was a round-up of lobbying news. The most important event was our meeting with the Secretario de Estado para la Unión Europea, Jorge Toledo. It was extremely positive and the junior minister gave us reason to be extremely optimistic about the stance of the Spanish government on citizenship rights for UK nationals in Spain. British in Europe, the coalition to which we belong, has also made excellent progress with Brussels lobbying. Our coordinator, Jane Golding, gave a presentation at the European Parliament in support of a BiE petition on citizens’ rights. There has also been further lobbying of MEPs who are proving very supportive and who are vital, as the EP can veto any deal unless it covers full EU negotiating directives on citizenship rights. Finally, Nacho Romero of our sister group Españoles en el Reino Unido, also talked in the parliament about a petition of which we are signatories.
We discussed at length the recent vague and ‘generous’ offer of Theresa May to EU citizens in the UK and mentioned a recent meeting of BiE with DExEU, with another coming up when the guidelines have been announced. It was agreed that EuroCitizens will have to put more time into the coalition and there was a call for volunteers. Over the next few months, intense lobbying by BiE will be needed in the UK parliament as well as regular meetings with the UK government.
There was a report from the education group which is producing videos called ‘Brexit and me’ about the impact of Britain’s departure from the EU on the lives of schoolchildren, university students and academics.
'MÚSICA SIN FRONTERAS' CONCERT A BIG SUCCESShttps://eurocitizens2020.
Our treasurer gave an update on our finances and membership, which is rising slowly but surely. When we asked for suggestions from the floor, there was a great response. Two volunteers offered to organise the production of stickers and badges for the group and for the coalition BiE. Other people offered to contact the major UK political parties like Conservatives Abroad, particularly with a view to lobbying at the party conferencies in September. Another volunteer is going to put out a call for people to help liaising with businesss, especially small businesses that are less well-represented by official organisations. A group offered to establish more regular contacts and liaisons with the British Embassy and to try to get a more effective information service on Brexit issues for UK nationals. Finally, a couple of people volunteered to organise a EuroCitizens stand at the fete at St Georges on .
There was also a suggestion, generally approved, that we should encourage our members to take "selfie" videos to explain their situation and how it is affected by Brexit. These could be linked via our FB page or blog.
To sum up, it was an extremely positive meeting in which our members demonstrated their determination to assume collective responsibility and to keep the fight going until we obtain our objective: the full maintenance of EU citizenship rights for both Spanish and UK nationals affected by Brexit.