All posts by Andrew

CANCELLED! BiG Leipzig group – Launch of the Leipzig Stammtisch

This event has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The new Leipzig Stammtisch will take place

at The Moritzbastei, Kurt-Masur-Platz 1, 04109 Leipzig
on 16 March 2020 at 7pm

Well, it’s finally happened: the Withdrawal Agreement has been ratified; we are in the transition period; but don’t feel alone.  Leipzig now has its own official Stammtisch and you are all invited to come along. A relaxed, informal evening to meet others, chat, ask questions and find support, all nationalities are welcome.  There will be information about the Withdrawal Agreement and what it means for Brits in Germany now and after the transition period ends.  If you’d rather speak about anything else other than Brexit, then that would be welcome too!

You can register through the Facebook event page.

British Embassy Facebook Q&A Sessions

The British Embassy runs InfoAbends and Facebook Q&A Sessions for those with questions regarding Brexit.

The next scheduled Facebook Q&A Sessions  are as follows:

  • Facebook Q&A. 23 March 2020, 7– 8.30 pm
  • Facebook Q&A. 25 May 2020, 7 – 8.30 pm
  • Facebook Q&A. 30 June 2020, 7.30 – 9 am

You can add your questions via the Embassy Facebook page once the Q&A Event is open.

More information regarding Embassy Events and the results of previous Facebook Q&A session can be found on the UK Government Website.

 

British in Europe explains the Withdrawal Agreement

Our colleagues at British in Europe have been busy looking at the details of the Withdrawal Agreement and providing the detail for you in a readable format.

The first in a series of explanatory articles covering what is it, what does it do and who does it cover is available on their website.

The second covers Residence Rights and Procedures and is now available on their website.

The third covers Health, Pensions and Social Security and is now available on their website.

The fourth covers Working Rights, Professional Qualifications
and Future Family Reunification and is now available on their website.

The fifth covers What is Not Covered and is now available on their website.

And the final one in the series, the sixth, provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions and is now available on their website.

Please also consider a donation to British in Europe to help them in their valuable work.

All Welcome this Friday night – BiG Berlin Stammtisch Brexit Day

A table has been booked for an event to mark Brexit day.

The theme is a Table for Europe.  You are invited to bring a dish from an EU27 country so that we can celebrate our diversity and European-ness. We will always be European.  Then we may head over to the BB Gate for midnight to hear the Embassy Singers sing the European National Anthem.

Please pass this onto all friends/contacts/colleagues you have in Berlin.

All nationalities welcome, the more the merrier. 

Be great if you could let us know via the Facebook registration page if you are thinking of attending to give us a rough idea of numbers for the venue. If you can bring some food to share please bring a list of ingredients for any attendees that may have allergies.

Time: 20:15 – 00:15

Place: The Castle
Frankfurter Tor 7, 10243 Berlin, Germany

***AGAIN, PLEASE SIGN UP ON THE FB PAGE TO GIVE US AN IDEA OF NUMBERS AND HOW MUCH SPACE WE SHOULD RESERVE AT THE VENUE.

Details and sign up here: Facebook Event

 

#stopthecoup Berlin Saturday 7 September 2019

Sara Gordon reports on pro democracy demonstration which took place in Berlin last weekend.

On Saturday representatives from British in Germany joined grassroots organisation Stop the Coup Berlin, also supported by Pulse of Europe, to defend British democracy in the face of the current government’s attempts to push through a no-deal Brexit.

Many Brits living in Germany along with the vast majority of EU citizens living in the UK were not able to vote in the referendum, a decision that will detrimentally affect our lives and futures. The threat of a no-deal Brexit has caused fear, anger and distress, compounded by stressful cliff-edge situations and the threats to democracy in the UK government under Boris Johnson. Many in British in Germany face uncertainty until they are granted some form of residence permit, and many will not be able to apply until Brexit happens. Brits elsewhere in the EU may be even less fortunate. A disorderly Brexit could make them illegal overnight – resulting in traumatic chaos.

Aware of the potential consequences of a disorderly Brexit both here in Germany and back in the UK, Brits and EU citizens banded together to form Stop the Coup Berlin. Following on from smaller protest on 31 August, a core of seven people went to work, lost lots of sleep, and organised a larger demonstration on Pariser Platz directly in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Saturday 7th September. 

Speakers included MEP Sergey Lagodlnsky (Bündnis 90/die Grünen), who spoke about the importance of democracy; Berlin-based British political commentator Jon Worth, who shared his analysis of recent events; Daniel Tetlow of British in Germany, who spoke about citizen rights, academic Prof. Dr. Mareike Kleine (LSE / Freie Universität), who spoke about what happens when democracies go bad; newlywed British-born German Rachel Marriott who detailed some of the experiences of Brits living in Germany in the face of Brexit. This was followed by a brief open-mic session, followed by Scottish stand-up comedian Neil Numb who added his lighter-hearted take on all this. 

The whole event was accompanied by local musicians Espin and the Noisses, the highlight of which was perhaps the duet set of EU-inspired songs by Noisses’ singer Lucy Stubley and Espin, including “Nothing compares to EU”.

The protest was a resounding success! At peak, we counted 150 attendees and collected over 220 signatures for the letter to Ambassador Sir Sebastian Wood, which was delivered to a representative on the day by coordinator Rose Newell and logistics man Maurice Bennet. 

Depending on events over the next few weeks, British in Germany will continue to coordinate with Stop the Coup Berlin and Pulse of Europe on the best way to proceed. It is highly likely that another demonstration will be organised in the near future. 

We would like to thank all that attended the demonstration and encourage more to come out next time! 

Until then, we encourage you to visit the British in Germany Berlin Stammtisch this Saturday (14th September) at BrewDog Mitte (1 to 5 pm) and keep in touch via Facebook, Twitter and email. 

Images (c) Sara Gordon, 2019

The event was cover by several media outlets. Here are a few links to their reporting:

Reuters: Demonstrators protest against no-deal Brexit in central Berlin

Berlin Spectator: British Expatriates Stage Protest Against Brexit

For more about Stop the Coup see their website.

Sara was also interviewed by the Guardian recently in their article ‘A beautiful dream destroyed’: Britons in EU on no-deal Brexit

BiG in the News

News Desk
Attribution: Alpha Stock Images – http://alphastockimages.com/, Original Author: Nick Youngson – http://www.nyphotographic.com/

BiG Chair Jane Golding was interviewed by Nick Robinson on BBC Radio 4’s flagship news programme TODAY (2 hours, 33 minutes), 2nd September 2019.

(DE)  Ellie Sellwood of BiG together with Thomas Cartwright and Anastasia Krcmar are interviewed about the impact of Brexit on the Mittags Magazine starting around 4:20min on ARD, 11 April 2019

(DE)  British in Hamburg were interviewed about “What the British in Hamburg think of Brexit“, Abendblatt, 31 March 2019

In a set of two articles the UK Ambassador Sir Sebastian Wood and the head of the German government’s Brexit Task Force Axel Dittmann talk citizens’ rights, travelling after Brexit and no-deal preparations. Jane Golding, BiG and BiE were praised for their work protecting Citizens’ Rights.

Dittmann said: “I absolutely agree with Jane Golding and Maike Bohn, who represent British in Europe and the3Million in regular meetings here in the Foreign Ministry, that citizen’s rights are of the utmost importance. This topic has been and will remain our top priority.”

Sir Sebastian echoed this sentiment.
“Protecting the rights of citizens remains the UK’s top priority,” he said.

Part 1: Brexit: Germany plans to extend transition period for Brits in case of no-deal

Part 2: Brits’ anxiety, residence permits and ‘Freundship’: Brexit experts talk to The Local

The Local, 22 and 26 March, 2019

(DE)  Robert Harrison is interviewed on Kontrovers about the concerns of British Nationals in Germany (starting at 08:53), BR, 20 March, 2019

Jenny Hayhurst is interviewed on about the concerns of British Nationals in Germany, Deutsch Welle, 21 March, 2019

Rachael Marriott, Rose Newell and Rachael Clark were interviewed by BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme, “The Nine”, BBC Scotland, 18 March, 2019

Matt Bristow together with Jonny and Kirsty were interviewed by BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme, “The Nine“, BBC Scotland, 12 March, 2019

Jane Golding interviewed for an article including No-Deal preparations in Germany: ‘Fear mounting for British in EU as ‘no-deal’ Brexit looms‘, Associated Press, 6 March, 2019

Jane Golding is quoted in a report in an article ‘No quick fix for citizen rights under no-deal Brexit, says EU official‘, The Guardian, 6 February, 2019

(DE + english with german subtitles) Gary Blackburn, a BiG member, was interviewed on the impact of Brexit in the SAT1 evening news for the Rheinland Pfalz/Hessen region. Click on the image below for the video, the report starts at 2:35 mins into the broadcast. 2 February, 2019.

British in Germany’s Ellie Sellwood appeared in a report on the impact of Brexit on British born Hamburg Pub owner Gibbo KempDeutsche Welle, 29th January, 2019

(DE with english subtitles)  Attendees to the Hamburg InfoAbend and Stammtisch  were interviewed for ARD’s Tagestheme programme, 28th January 2019

(DE)  Daniel Tetlow features in an article by Bernadette Mittermeier regarding the concerns of EU and UK nationals in the post-Brexit world “Wir sind alle verunsichert”Süddeutsche Zeitung, 21st January, 2019

(DE)  ZDF Ländesspiegel 19th Jan with Jane Golding and Connie Simms, BiG’s 2018/9 Intern:

(DE)  Thomas Hummel writes an interesting Commentary article about how the UK and EU are both playing with the future of 5 million citizens, ‘Briten und EU spielen mit dem Schicksal von fünf Millionen Bürgern‘, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 17th January, 2019

(DE)  Ingrid Taylor was interviewed on the BR about the impact of the failed vote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons, ‘Ingrid Taylor, Verein “British in Bavaria“‘, BR-Podcast, 16th January, 2019

Daniel Tetlow was interviewed on the situation for UK Nationals living in another EU Member state on Deutsche Welle, 16th January, 2019

Jane Golding was interviewed on the situation in the UK following Parliament’s rejection of the Withdrawal Bill  on Deutsche Welle, 16th January, 2019

Daniel Tetlow was interviewed as part of an article on how “No-Deal” would affect UK nationals living in another EU Member State, ‘Brexit: How would no deal affect UK citizens in the EU?‘, BBC, 14 January, 2019

Matt Bristow of BiG was interviewed as part of an article on the situation of UK nationals now living in another EU Member state, ‘We are being abandoned’: Britons in EU on the Brexit deal vote,’ The Guardian,  13 January, 2019

Rachel Loxton, ‘What you need to know about Berlin’s Brexit registering process,’ The Local, 4 January 2019

Jane Golding interviewed by Judith Mischke in the article The ‘EU native’ fighting for British rights threatened by BrexitPolitico, 29th December 2018

Channel 4 News interviewed Kathryn Dobson starting at 12:30 in the clip, Channel 4 News, 21 December 2018

 

 

Channel 4 News included interviews with Jane Golding and other BiG activists in Berlin. We were asked about the impact on our everyday lives and what a no-deal Brexit means to us. You can watch the interviews featured above by clicking on the image or hereChannel 4 News, 18 December 2018

Brexit planning: what you need to know about Germany’s plans for a no-deal, The Local, 17 December 2018

(DE) Interview with David Hole of British in Bavaria, “Die Leute wollen endlich wieder in Ruhe leben”Süddeutsche Zeitung, 13 December 2018

(DE) Fear of ‘no deal’ among BiG members in Bavaria, Angst vor dem “No Deal”Süddeutsche Zeitung, 27 November 2018

Laura Shields of British in Europe is interviewed by Simon Bolton of Sky News following the adoptions of the Withdrawal Agreement, 27 November 2018

(DE) British in Bavaria’s Stammtisch was reported on in the Süddeutsche Zeitung in an article on the impact of Brexit on British Citizens living in Munich. 27 November 2018

(DE) Wendy Perkins, William Brocas, Anna Joy Drury and Sophie Chattington took part in a report “Brexit verunsichert Bremer Briten” on Radio Bremen as part of the Bremen Stammtisch. 18 November 2018

Jane Golding discussing the personal financial impacts of Brexit on the BBC’s MoneyBox programme,  7 November 2018

Jane Golding and other members of British in Germany, British in Europe as well as the 3 Million, took part in “The Last Mile” event in London. While there was little coverage in the UK, there was significant coverage in the German Language press, 6 November 2018

Emma Corris, UK citizens’ rights and Brexit: What now?, The Leipzig Glocal, 11 May 2018

(DE) Daniel Tetlow (co-founder of British in Germany), ‘Was es heißt, ein Eu-Bürger zu sein,’ Internationale Politik, May-June 2018. IP has kindly allowed us to provide you access. Please click on the image below to download the PDF (in German). Copyright Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik e.V.

Yasmeen Serhan, The Millions Left Marooned by BrexitThe Atlantic, 22 March 2018

Jane Golding, Discarded by Brussels & Westminster: Brits in Europe left stranded in Brexit talksPolitics.co.uk, 5 March 2018

(DE) Anika Stiller, Run auf den Doppelpass, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 23 February 2018. Article in German about the tireless work of the British in Germany group in Bavaria, and issues around securing dual nationality.

Interview with Jane Golding, British in Europe and the loss of EU citizenship, Europe Street News, 7 October 2017

Catriona Harvey-Jenner, This is when EU citizens will lose their rights to freely live and work in the UK thanks to Brexit, Cosmopolitan, 1 August 2017

Thomas Escritt, In beer halls and boardrooms, the Brexit diaspora gets organisedReuters, 20 July 2017

Lisa O’Carroll, Britons in Europe ‘face huge loss’ if EU and UK cannot agree on rightsThe Guardian, 20 July 2017

Alberto Nardelli, British Nationals Living In The EU Are Not Happy With Theresa May’s ProposalsBuzzfeed News, 27 June 2017

(DE) Peter Kveton, Der Countdown für zwei Pässe läuft. Viele Briten beantragen doppelte Staatsbürgerschaft, Bayerischer Rundfunk, 20 June 2017

(DE) Wer bin ich? (pdf), Süddeutsche Zeitung interview with British in Bavaria’s Ingrid Taylor, 31 May 2017

Interview with Jane Golding, co-founder of British in Germany and chair of British in Europe, EU Reporter, 11 May 2017

Lisa O’Carroll, The Brexit trap that’s closing on Britons who live in EuropeThe Guardian, 11 May 2017

Jon Henley, ‘Alternative white paper’ by Britons in EU says rights must be protectedThe Guardian, 2 February 2017

Lisa O’Carroll and Kate Connolly, Deal on citizens’ rights lacks full EU backing, May saysThe Guardian, 17 January 2017

Registering to vote – Deadline is early May!

With the UK’s withdrawal from the EU now postponed until 31 October at the latest, the chances that the UK will take place in the elections for the European Parliament on Thursday 23 May in the UK and Sunday 26 May in Germany has increased.

As we will continue to be EU Citizens at this point we will continue to have the right to take part in these elections.

The deadline to register in the UK is 7th May, and in Germany 5th May, so you will need to move fast!

Together with British in Europe we have re-opened the voter website last used for the 2017 General Election. CLICK HERE, to see British in Europe’s all you need to know Voter Registration Info site.

You will have two choices:

  • If you have been absent from the UK for less than 15 years you can still vote in the EU elections in the UK at your last registered address.
  • If you have been absent for more than 15 years or if you prefer to vote in Germany you can register to vote there instead.

Voting in the UK

A summary of the information on the British in Europe Voter Reg Site about voting in the UK:

The  UK Government Website details the options for voting when living abroad.

The site run by the Electoral Commission is also useful.

If you have not already registered to vote, scroll to the end of the page and find the link to register to vote either online for England, Scotland and Wales, or by post in Northern Ireland. Latest inquires from our members suggest 7th May is the deadline to register for the EU Elections.

Even if you think you are registered it would be worth checking by contacting the Electoral Registration Officer  where you think you are registered. Registrations are confirmed each year by post and you may have become deregistered if you have moved addresses and not informed them.

Once registered you should consider how you wish to vote, either by post or by proxy.

If you choose a postal vote then your voting papers will be posted out to you in Germany where you can complete them before returning them. Be aware that the time available to do this limited as the voting papers can take several days to arrive and must be return promptly to be counted.

The most assured way to vote is via a proxy. This could be a friend or neighbour you are happy will vote as you direct them to, or an alternative is to contact your party of choice locally (most have websites to allow you to find a contact name) and they can be authorised to vote on your behalf. In both cases a form needs to be completed and returned to the Returning Officer so start making preparations now.

In the UK the election in on a regional list system and you will have one vote for the list of your choice.

Voting in Germany

The German Government Website (in German) details the options for voting in Germany:

  • If you are a German citizen, you should be on the electoral register here automatically.
  • If you are a UK / other EU citizen and not also German, you aren’t included automatically on the register for the European Parliament, you need to opt-in.
  • If you have opted in for a previous European Parliament election in Germany since 1999 you should still be on the register, even if you have moved home within Germany. But you might want to double check this with your local Wahlamt to confirm you are on the list (particularly given all the recent uncertainty re Brexit)
  • If you used to live in Germany but then moved away before moving back again, you will need to opt back in again to the European Parliament electoral register. This can be done up to 21 days before the vote, i.e, 5 May. The necessary form can be found on the website but must be handed in personally or by post to the Wahlamt – electoral office – in your local authority area (e.g. Bezirksamt or Kreisverwaltung).

It is possible to set up a postal vote, otherwise you would attend the polling station indicated on your voting card and on presenting your passport will be given a voting paper.

In Germany the election is on a nation wide list system and you will have one vote for the list of your choice.

Information across the EU is available on an EU sponsored website and includes a section for the UK and for Germany.

Image: By Man vyi – Self-photographed, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5004689

InfoEvents in Berlin, 30 April

In cooperation with German partners and British in Germany e.V., the British Embassy Berlin will host an Open Afternoon and Evening on Tuesday 30th April 2019. This will be an opportunity for you to find out how the UK leaving the EU might affect your rights to live and work in Germany.

Economic Counsellor Rachel King will give an update on issues relating to citizens’ rights and what this means for you after the UK leaves the EU. She will be joined by the Head of the Berlin Foreigners Authority (Ausländerbehörde) Engelhard Mazanke, who will explain the registration process in Berlin.

Following the introductions there will be an Info Fair, where you will be able to speak to representatives from key German authorities on pensions, health insurance, residency, naturalisation, studying and Erasmus, and working in Germany (participating organisations to be confirmed).

Location: British Embassy Berlin,
Wilhelmstrasse 70, D-10117 Berlin, Germany

Afternoon Event:

14:30 Doors open

15:00 Welcome addresses

15:30 Info Fair

17:00 Event closes

Spaces are limited – please register on Eventbrite.

Evening Event:

18:00 Doors open

18:30 Welcome addresses

19:00 Info Fair

20:30 Event closes

Spaces are limited – please register on Eventbrite:.

If you reserve a ticket but find yourself unable to attend, please let us know so that we can allocate the ticket to someone else.

Please not that only registered guests can be permitted entry to the Embassy and photo ID is required.

Image: By Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France – L’Ambassade du Royaume-Uni (Berlin), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6791741

InfoAbend in Bad Kreuznach, 15 April

The British Embassy and Antje Lezius, Member of the German Bundestag, in collaboration with British in Germany, will host a German-British Information Evening on citizens rights in Bad Kreuznach on Monday, 15th April at 6:30pm.

Time: Monday, 15 April at 18:30 – 20:30 (doors open 18:00)
Place: Brauwerk, Saline Karlshalle 11, 55543 Bad Kreuznach
Registration: Eventbrite

HM Consul General Rafe Courage will give an update on the impact of the UK leaving the EU on citizens’ rights of UK nationals living in Germany and what this means for you. Antje Lezius will present the German government’s plans, as will the Foreigners’ Authority Bad Kreuznach. They will be joined by Amanda Diel from British in Germany e.V. Following the speeches, there will be plenty of time to ask any questions you have.

The event is primarily aimed at UK nationals living in and around Bad Kreuznach. Family members and friends are, of course, also welcome to attend, as are German citizens with questions regarding travel to or study in the UK following the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Doors open at 6.00 pm. The event will run from 6.30pm to 8.30 pm.

This event will take place in English and German.

Should you be attending by car, there are parking spaces available at Brauwerk Bad Kreuznach (charges apply).

We look forward to welcoming you then.

For information on this event in German please see:

http://bit.ly/German-British-Information-Evening
or
https://www.facebook.com/events/2013393622289961/