Category Archives: British in Europe

Posts relating to British in Europe

Reminder: register to vote for the EP elections!

The voter registration deadlines for the European Parliament elections are approaching. We are still EU citizens, so let’s make our votes count! Please check out British in Europe’s Register to Vote site for all the details: where, when, how.

If you’ve been away from the UK for less than 15 years, you can choose to vote in the UK, or in Germany. The UK voter registration deadline is Tuesday 7 May, and UK overseas voters may have to re-register this year – check with the local authority where you last voted; full details on how to vote can be found here.

If you’ve been away for over 15 years, you can only vote in Germany, where the voter registration deadline is Sunday 5 May.

If you are registered here, you should already be on the electoral register.  It’s important to check with the Wahlamt (electoral office) at your local municipality (Bezirksamt or Kreisverwaltung) as we’ve had some cases of members appearing to be no longer listed, despite being registered last year.

If you are not on the electoral register, you need to opt in. The forms for this are available from the Federal Returning Officer: these must be signed and returned in person or posted to your local municipality by 5 May.

Further information on voting in Germany is available from the EU’s European Elections 2019 site.

Image: Jordiferrer, Wikimedia Commons

 

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

Report on the Costa Amendment


Last week saw an important vote with respect to UK Citizens’ Rights and EU Citizens’ Rights in the UK in the event of No-Deal.

An amendment put forward by MP Alberta Costa, despite his action costing him his post in the Government and being initially opposed by the Government, was passed without a vote after the Government changed its position.

However the vote is not binding on the UK Government and also requires the cooperation of the EU and so the work continues.

Alberta Costa has already written to Donald Tusk, the head of the Council of Europe representing the 28 EU States, seeking a meeting to discuss the issue and needs the Council to instruct the Commission to negotiate this “mini-Deal” in the event of a No-Deal situation.

However we, in the form of British in Europe, will also be there, adding our weight to the argument. This is costly work in terms of time and travel and therefore we are asking you to support British in Europe by making a donation to them via their website. While we, as British in Germany, are also seeking support from the German Government, the work in Brussels and the UK is also vitally important.

The original reporting follows:

As reported on the British in Europe website, the Conservative MP Alberto Costa, is proposing an amendment to the motion being voted on in the House of Commons next Wednesday 27th Feb. The amendment calls for the Prime Minister to ask the EU to jointly agree *as soon as possible* to adopt the citizens’ rights part of the Withdrawal Agreement – whatever happens with Brexit.

Please follow the British in Europe link and read about this important development and write to your UK MP in support of it.

German media reports on “The Last Mile”

Jane Golding and member other members of British in German, 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:

ARD – Tagesschau

https://www.tagesschau.de/multimedia/video/video-467871.html

Euronews DE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuX3eUIDHmc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q03u5mPW5Rw (really long piece)

https://de.euronews.com/2018/11/05/menschenkette-gegen-brexit-in-london

https://de.euronews.com/2018/11/05/menschenkette-gegen-die-brexit-angst?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3a+euronews%2fde%2fnews+(euronews+-+news+-+de)

Schwäbische Post

https://www.schwaebische-post.de/politik/eine-kette-aus-brexit-gegnern/1722264/

MSN Nachrichten

https://www.msn.com/de-ch/nachrichten/watch/eu-bürger-in-großbritannien-fordern-rechte-nach-brexit-menschenkette-in-london/vp-BBPnuHu

ORF AT

https://orf.at/stories/3095601/

Kurier AT

https://kurier.at/wirtschaft/brexit-gegner-bildeten-menschenkette-um-regierungssitz-in-london/400315347

Yahoo Nachrichten

https://de.nachrichten.yahoo.com/menschenkette-gegen-brexit-london-123914560.html?guccounter=1

Hit Radio FFH

https://www.ffh.de/video/meController/Mediathek/meAction/index/meTopic/menschenkette-gegen-brexit-in-london.html

Daily Motion

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6wp2wa

DLF

https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/london-demonstration-fuer-rechte-von-eu-buergern.1939.de.html?drn:news_id=942825

Täglicher Anzeiger Holzminden

https://www.tah.de/welt/afp-news-single/brexit-gegner-bilden-menschenkette-um-britischen-regierungssitz-in-london.html

Die Presse (Videoausschnitt)

https://diepresse.com/home/ausland/eu/5524687/EUAustritt_Dublin-gegen-Londons-BrexitLinie

Wiener Zeitung (nur Foto)

https://www.wienerzeitung.at/nachrichten/europa/europaeische_union/1000239_Verwirrspiel-um-Brexit-Gespraeche.html

24 Deutschland (nur Foto)

http://24de.spdns.de/item/95805_menschenkette-gegen-brexit-in-london

Business Finanz

https://www.businessfinanz.com/2018/11/05/menschenkette-gegen-brexit-in-london/

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

Remember, remember the fifth of November ….. Monday is the day for our lobby of Parliament, preceded by delivery of a letter to Theresa May. The letter will be published on the Facebook group and on Twitter shortly after 12 noon (11am UK time) once it has been delivered to Downing Street. This is an opportunity to convince MPs of the importance of protecting our rights, and to explain to them why and how. We are also aiming for media publicity, in Germany as well as in the UK.

How can you help?

1. If not already done, join the E-Lobby. It’s as simple as emailing a letter to, or tweeting, your MP or former MP. More instructions, including how to register so that we know how many have joined, are here: https://britishineurope.org/e-lobby/

Do let us know if your MP replies to you and also forward their response to bielobby@gmail.com

2. Ask your friends and family to join the E-Lobby.

3. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or simple email to spread the message far and wide. If you are on Twitter, please make sure you are following and retweeting britsingermany, britishineurope, the3million and LastMileLobby18. Please do share the letter to Theresa May with your own Facebook contacts and retweet after 12 noon (11am UK time).

4. Perhaps you can use this as an opportunity to contact the local press in your own area. There will be information and pictures available on Twitter and Facebook by Monday afternoon, and perhaps your local journalists would be interested in your local perspective. Daniel (daniel.tetlow@britishingermany.org) and Ingrid (Ingrid.Taylor@britishingermany.org) will be acting as British in Germany media contacts during the day, so can also be contacted if you need help on this.

Open Letter to Theresa May

As part of the Last Mile Lobby, a joint letter to Theresa May was delivered to Downing Street by representatives of the3million, Unison and British in Europe.

In it, the groups express their concerns over citizens’ rights of the 5 million citizens affected and ask Mrs. May to join with the EU and meet their commitments to them.

Here is a pdf of the full letter

and a German translation.

Finally here is a Press Release for the German Media.

Join the Last Mile Citizens’ e-lobby

The Last Mile Citizens’ Lobby is now approaching its climax with the mass lobby in London on 5th November.

However whether you are able to attend or not you can still take part in the lobbying activity by writing to your MP.

As British in Europe say:

What are we lobbying for?

It’s been over two years since the EU referendum, and as March 2019 draws closer the many months of negotiations might still come to nothing if the EU and the UK don’t reach an agreement on Brexit.

Enough is enough – we need the UK government and the EU to honour the commitments already made to us during the negotiations, no matter what.  We are campaigning, alongside our friends the3million, which represents EU citizens in the UK, for the UK government and the EU to commit now to ring-fencing and implementing the citizens’ rights part of the Withdrawal Agreement under Article 50 – no matter what the outcome on Brexit.

The last lobby on 13th September, 2017 was attended by 400 people, with over 1000 sending in letters as part of the e-lobby. With time running out, help us make this year even bigger.

British in Europe have produced a page providing all the information you need to prepare your own letter to your MP setting out our concerns.

A template letter is available, but it is always more effective if you can personalise it with your own situation.

If you have any further question, check out the FAQ page on the British in Europe website.