Category Archives: British in Germany Event

InfoAbend in Berlin, December 18th

British in Germany representative Jane Golding together with the British Embassy are holding an InfoAbend in Berlin.

Location:
Britische Botschaft Berlin
Wilhelmstraße 70/71, 10117 Berlin

Time:
19:30 – 21:00

Safeguarding the rights of British nationals living and working in the EU remains a top priority for both the UK and the EU, and the British community in Germany are an important part of the future UK-Germany relationship. We are continuing our series of information evenings across Germany to ensure British citizens have the opportunity to share any concerns, and ask our speakers any questions they have about citizens’ rights post-Brexit.

Please join us on 18th December the British Embassy Berlin with Ambassador Sebastian Wood and the British in Germany representative Jane Golding who will give an update on the status of negotiations and what this means for you.

The event is primarily aimed at British citizens living in and around Berlin. Family members and friends are of course also welcome to attend. Doors open 19:00. Please make sure you bring a photographic ID. Registration via Eventbrite.

This event can also be found on our Events Calendar.

InfoAbend in Kiel, 29th October

British in Germany representative Matt Bristow together with the British Embassy are holding  an InfoAbend in Kiel.

Location:
IHK zu Kiel Haus der Wirtschaft
Bergstraße 2, 24103 Kiel

TIme:
18:00 – 20:00

Safeguarding the rights of British nationals living and working in the EU remains a top priority for both the UK and the EU, and the British community in Germany are an important part of the future UK-Germany relationship. We are continuing our series of information evenings across Germany to ensure British citizens have the opportunity to share any concerns, and ask our speakers any questions they have about citizens’ rights post-Brexit.

Please join us on 29th October at IHK Kiel with Deputy Head of Mission, Robbie Bulloch, and British Honorary Consul in Kiel, Jann Petersen, who will give an update on the status of negotiations and what this means for you. Joining the panel will be Matt Bristow from British in Germany.

The event is primarily aimed at British citizens living in and around Kiel. Family members and friends are of course also welcome to attend. Doors open 18.00. Please register on Eventbrite.

This event is also in our Events Calendar.

Image: By Arne List – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3407836

InfoAbend in Essen, 31st October

Jenny Hayhurst will be representing British in Germany  together with Rafe Courage of the British Embassy and Bernhard Nadorf  the Chair of Deutsch-Englische-Gesellschaft Ruhr e.V at an InfoAbend in Essen.

Location:
Volkshochschule Essen
Burgplatz 1, 45127 Essen

Time:
19:00 – 21:00

Safeguarding the rights of British nationals living and working in the EU remains a top priority for both the UK and the EU, and the British community in Germany are an important part of the future UK-Germany relationship. This event is primarily aimed at British nationals living in and around the Essen area, to ensure you have the opportunity to share any concerns, and ask our speakers any questions you have about your rights post-Brexit.
We look forward to welcoming you in Essen. Doors open at 18:30.

Please register for this event on Eventbrite.

This event is also in our Events Calendar.

Foto: By Tuxyso / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20104589

Report on the “What it means for Brits living in Germany” event – Frankfurt am Main – 2nd October

Connie Simms and Victoria Bainbridge report on the InfoAbend in Frankfurt.

As one of the new Erasmus interns for BiG, I arguably could not have chosen a more exciting time to enter the fray, given the turbulent nature of the political negotiations that are currently engulfing the relationship between Britain and Europe. Yet despite the excitement that the current political climate brings, it can often be forgotten that for those British Citizens in Europe, it can be a time not of excitement, but rather of real worry. The decisions of the next few weeks will leave an indelible mark on peoples relationships, careers and lifestyle, with many currently suspended in a state of agonising limbo.

It was into this tense situation, where political meets personal, that I took part in my first British in Germany event in Frankfurt. The event took place on the 2nd of October 2018, in the prize location of the Grosser Saal in the Haus am Dom, for which the generous funding by the City of Frankfurt must be gratefully acknowledged. The event took the format of speeches by various organisation representatives including British in Germany, the British Embassy and the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft followed by a Q and A.

At the time of the meeting, negotiations were ongoing, and as such the panel and speakers had the unenviable task of attempting to answer and engage with a topic on which there is little definitive information. This resulted in the speakers adopting a rather more palliativeapproach, opposed to clear cut strategic advice, given the uncertain nature of the time. Uwe Becker, Bürgermeister und Stadtkämmerer of Frankfurt, encouraged affected residents to view his office as a service centre, in which people could find assistance with regards to clarifying their current rights and status. Although a wide range of topics were discussed, due to the individual nature of every British citizens situation in Germany, a topic that seemed to pervade the meeting was the question of citizenship. The prospect of applying for German citizenship was also sensitively discussed, and those who wish to take that route were reminded that crucially, in the event of a no deal scenario, German law works on date of decision, not application. As the Brexit date currently stands on the 29th March 2019, any citizenship application processes would need to have been completed by then. Another concrete piece of advice, echoed by the BiG representatives, was the importance of the audience ensuring that they were properly registered as resident in Germany and more importantly have proof thereof by obtaining a relevant Bescheinigung, in order to prepare for uncertain times ahead.

By the time the meeting had progressed to the Q and A, the mood appeared one of resignation. Although this was ostensibly an invaluable opportunity to have questions answered by Embassy and BiG representatives, the frustration at the lack of concrete information available revealed itself in a couple of strained questions. Questions ranged from that on healthcare, to the question of British by descent, self employment, and cross border working. All panel members attempted to answer with the limited sources at their disposal, and David Hole (British in Bavaria) adopted an informative approach pointing out additional sources of information, with the No Deal Checklist highlighted as a key guide to use.

As the meeting drew to a close, despite the lack of solid hard information due to the tentative nature of current negotiations, the invaluable contributions of the panel appeared to have somewhat aided the concerned audience.

For my first proper BiG event, there was certainly never a dull moment, and I came away bewildered at the fact that so many lives are currently in this state of uncertainty, in many cases disenfranchised from voting in the very referendum that has caused their personal state of limbo. It therefore reinforced my conviction in the work that BiG are currently doing in attempting to ring fence Citizens Rights, in order to provide some semblance of stability and constancy for these people who came to Germany as EU citizens and now face a precarious future.

I would also like to use this opportunity to extend my thanks to David Hole for coming down to speak on behalf of BiG, to Victoria Bainbridge for her assistance in the events coordination, and most of all to BiG representative Amanda Diel, who was instrumental in creating and organising the event. She secured funding, coordinated the speakers, and participated on the day itself, something for which BiG is ever grateful to her for.

Report on the London March on 20th October 2018

Ellie Sellwood reports on the London March which took place on 20th October.

Sunshine, Solidarity and Strength: British in Germany at the People’s Vote March for the Future

British in Germany members traveled from across Germany to march with 670,000 people at the People’s Vote March for the Future on Saturday 20th October. British in Germany and British in Hamburg member Ellie Sellwood reports.

The day began with a gathering of Brits who had traveled from all corners of Europe and European citizens residing in the UK, at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park. The group came together under the umbrella of the Five Million – the number of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens residing in the EU who have been largely forgotten in the Brexit proceedings.

The group of around 400 people all gathered in the sunshine on the field under their banners, in blue berets with yellow stars on, and waving their placards, some dressed in white, others in blue. For some, it was the very first time they had met each other, as so many of these citizens’ rights groups have members from all across Europe and it was like a big meeting of old friends.

At the front stood members of the British in Europe Steering Committee, including Jane Golding founder of British in Germany and spokeswoman for British in Europe, and members from the3million. First to address the crowd was Axel Antoni, spokesperson for the3million who spoke about the fact that EU citizens hadn’t had the chance to vote in the referendum and have been some of the worst affected by the negotiations. By the end of his speech he had the crowd chanting ‘We’re the 5 million. Then came Kalba Meadows, founder of Remain in France Together and member of British in Europe’s steering committee, who had organized the gathering for the Brits from across Europe. And then it was the turn of Debbie and Molly Williams and Elena Remigi of the In Limbo project who spoke about the plight of the contributors to the In Limbo books. Amidst shouts of ‘We are the 5 Million’ in a number of different languages, a few tears were shed and the groups all started to set off singing and chanting towards the start of the march.

Once the group had walked a short way, it became clear, as more and more people spilled out of the coaches, that a huge number of people had shown up to take part. This became even clearer when British in Germany, British in Europe, the3million, British in Italy and the Brexpats groups found themselves stuck at a standstill for two hours before the march got underway.

Whilst the marchers were waiting, there was singing, clapping, dancing and, of course, chanting which meant that everyone was in a party mood. There were new parents carrying their babies with placards like ‘I missed my first birthday to march for my future,’ pensioners shouting ‘Bollocks to Brexit,’ young people waving European or rainbow flags with placards stating that the UK government was taking their rights away and people of every age, gender, creed and colour imaginable. It truly was a fantastic turn-out and a real joy to be a part of.

Once the march got underway, there was music and the Ode to Joy was played almost non-stop, be it by bagpipes or a boombox. It was then that rumours started to spread like wildfire through the crowd, someone said that the marchers totaled half a million, another said 600,000. Whatever the truth, learning that the number could be that high really added to the excitement.

The British in Germany group didn’t make it to the speeches by Parliament because of the sheer numbers of people, but it was an honour to be there and to march for so many of us across Germany who are living in limbo. One thing’s for sure… the tide is turning on Brexit and we were so happy to have been a part of making this happen.

Image (c) Ellie Sellwood and British in Germany

InfoAbend in Bremen, 13th November

British in Germany representative Daniel Tetlow together with the British Embassy is holding an InfoAbend in Bremen.

Location:
Handelskammer Bremen
Am Markt 13, 28195 Bremen

Time:
18:00 – 20:00

Safeguarding the rights of British nationals living and working in the EU remains a top priority for both the UK and the EU, and the British community in Germany are an important part of the future UK-Germany relationship. We are continuing our series of information evenings across Germany to ensure British citizens have the opportunity to share any concerns, and ask our speakers any questions they have about citizens’ rights post-Brexit.

The event is primarily aimed at British citizens living in and around Bremen. Family members and friends are of course also welcome to attend.

Limited spaces available. Doors open at 17:30. Please give your name when reserving your ticket as ID will be requested on the door. We look forward to seeing you!

Please register to attend on Eventbrite.

This events also appears in our Events Calendar.

Image: Von Jürgen Howaldt CC BY-SA 2.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2088709

 

Report on the talk on Brexit by Colin Munro in Munich – 8th October

British in Bavaria talk – in English – on BREXIT

Constitutional, Political, Economic and Social Causes

The Referendum and Prospects for a People’s Vote

Monday, 8 October, Munich

Former UK diplomat Colin Munro treated his audience of 100+ Germans and Brits to a review of how the referendum came about, identifying five major policy miscalculations of the UK government since WW2 as likely root causes, and outlining the deficiencies of the UK´s constitutional and election framework. His recollections and anecdotes of politics and politicians from over four decades of experience in the UK Diplomatic Service were much appreciated by the attendees. Also valuable was his assessment of the many imponderables as we enter the final phase of negotiationse.g. the prospects for a People´s Vote or a new general election, the extremes of the Conservative and Labour parties, the role of Westminster, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Irish Assembly, and the Irish border problem.

The historical perspective Colin delivered and his expert analysis of recent referenda (Margaret Thatcher: “a device of demagogues and dictators”) provided important context. As did his reminder that the European Union, imperfect as it still may be, has brought immense benefit to the people of Europe in terms of peace and stability.

In the Q&As after his talk, Colin was impressed with the quality of the questions from the well informed audience.

Colin Munro lives in Vienna. He is the founder of UKCA, UK Citizens in Austria, which organises events to support Brits based in Austria.

The text and accompanying slides from his talk is available on the UK Citizens in Austria site.

Images (c) Sue McInerney and Ingrid Taylor

Open Evening for UK Nationals in Dusseldorf – 8th October

British in Germany will be represented by Laurence Genillard at the British Embassy InfoAbend event in Dusseldorf on 8th October.

The British Embassy have posted details of this event on their Facebook site and the description is as follow:

Safeguarding the rights of British nationals living and working in the EU remains a top priority for both the UK and the EU, and the British community in Germany are an important part of the future UK-Germany relationship. We are continuing our series of information evenings across Germany to ensure British citizens have the opportunity to share any concerns, and ask our speakers any questions they have about citizens’ rights post-Brexit.
The event is primarily aimed at British citizens living in and around Düsseldorf. Family members and friends are of course also welcome to attend. Doors open 18.30. Please register for this free event via Eventbrite.

Please see our Events Calendar for location details and map

Image (c) By Assumulator – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23884934

Report on Berlin Brexit Infoabend & ‘Don’t go Brexit my Heart’ party

Hi, I’m Adam Takar,  just arrived into Berlin to be one of the BiG interns for the next 6 months or so.  I’m a French and German student at Oxford Uni in my third year abroad. The party happened on my second day in Berlin, so that was a great way to get to feel for what I’m in for.   And it didn’t disappoint!

On Friday 31st August, British in Germany hosted a public Infoabend and Party at Freudenzimmer in Mehringdamm, Berlin. The Infoabend consisted of a panel of five speakers, chaired by BiG’s own Daniel Tetlow. Speaking were Andrew Connell (First Secretary EU at the British Embassy in Berlin), Professor Gerhard Dannemann (Professor of English Law, British Economics and Politics at the Humboldt-Universität), Jane Golding (Chair of British in Germany and British in Europe), Dr. Nicolai von Ondarza (Head of EU/Europa Research Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs), and Derek Scally (Irish Times Berlin Correspondent). Chatham House rules were requested for the meet, so that people could speak more bluntly and informally., but that obviously means I’m somewhat limited in what I can report.

Chatham House Rules:  "a rule or principle according to which information disclosed during a meeting may be reported by those present, but the source of that information may not be explicitly or implicitly identified"

The evening began with host Daniel Tetlow telling us that Berlin was growing fast in its Brit population with over 28,000 Brits now registered as of December 2017 compared to around 16,000 only 2 years previous. That means Berlin has topped  North Rhein Westfalia that used to be the German state with the largest number of residing Brits.  Certainly it’s very evident when walking the streets of Berlin the number of British voices one hears.   Daniel then led a discussion with the speakers and audience that raised the current state of affairs regarding the Brexit negotiations and the current possible scenarios that may play out over the coming months up to March 2019.  Mr. Scally provided particularly interesting insights regarding the Irish border situation.

Certain members of the audience were asking for British citizens in Berlin, Germany and Europe as a whole to have greater visibility in the media which may help protect their rights, with the main issues of the night focusing on problems with residency registration, bureaucracy and citizenship.

I personally was not aware of the extent to which British citizens in Germany, and more broadly in Europe, felt left behind by both the UK government and people.  It was clear that at times the audience became frustrated with Mr. Connell from the British Embassy regarding issues of residency registration, citizenship and possible withdrawal deals. Being a representative of the British Embassy, Mr. Connell’s hands were tied and he could only say so much. He assured the audience that the government was working with their interests at heart, yet some audience members clearly felt that this assurance was not enough.

There was a strong sentiment that even with British in Germany’s efforts, more needed to be done by people on both sides of the channel, as well as media and the government to help give British citizens in Germany some hope or relief so that they could continue their lives as normal. It was a great experience for me to see so many Brits in Berlin standing up for their rights, willing to have their voices heard.

The Infoabend was an open discussion, and many questions were asked regarding the current woes and anxieties of existing British citizens living in the EU, most of which Jane Golding said were absolutely justified and that she would continue to make their case with the ongoing contact she has with the negotiators. The event was very successful with all speakers staying on for the party afterwards and speaking one to one with audience members.

The Party provided a friendly and more upbeat atmosphere where we could meet, talk, and get to know each other. Well-known British throwbacks were played, danced to, and reminisced over allowing for a nice alleviation of the tenser frustrations in the talk earlier.

Overall, the evening a very strong and positive experience for me and very successful based on the number of people that publicly complimented the work of British in Germany, many expressing thanks to the group before they asked their question.   Mr. Connell, representing the British Government, assured us that he would take our concerns forward to the British Government. We will see what the impact of that, if any, will be.   I was personally witness to many new guests signing up for the BiG mailing list and membership.

I am looking forward to my time working with BiG in the coming months and to hosting more evenings such as this one in Berlin.  We will soon publish a list of upcoming Infoabends that British in Germany will be holding with the British Embassy across the country up to March 2019.

British in Hamburg Stammtisch – 28th August

British in Hamburg are hosting a very causal Stammtisch for all Brits in Hamburg to get together. Meet us outside Haus 73 on the Schulterblatt at 19:00 and we’ll work out where to go based on how many people come along. Looking forward to seeing you!

Also see our Events Calendar.

Image: By IqRS – Fotos von IqRS, freigegeben als PD (siehe [[:de:Wikipedia:Bilderwerkstatt/Archiv/2008/Juli#Alster|]]), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15650549