Category Archives: British in Germany

BiG welcome to new Erasmus trainees

Connie Simms and Adam Takar have arrived in Berlin to step into the large shoes of Emma Corris who’s been the BiG Erasmus trainee since April 2018.   Big thanks goes to Emma for such tireless, committed work taking BiG to new heights this year.  She returns to complete her fourth and final year in German and French at Oxford University. Connie and Adam come from the same Erasmus university scheme as Emma.  They had a useful week’s handover with Emma at the beginning of September starting off with the infamous ‘Don’t Go Brexit My Heart’ Party and Infoabend in Berlin on 31st August.  See Adam’s first article on the night here.

Welcome to BiG Adam and Connie and we’re looking forward to getting stuck in with all the challenges and the unknowns of the coming months up to March 2019.

The Last Mile Citizens’ Lobby

British in Europe together with the 3million and UNISON are organising a series of event around the UK and Brussels culminating in a march on Westminster on the 5th November.

Please follow the news and developments on the British in Europe website, but here are some highlights:

Liverpool 25 September: 
BiE Chair Jane Golding and Nicolas Hatton of the3million will co-chair a Labour Conference fringe event. She will explode the myth that our rights have been sorted and underline the huge importance of freedom of movement for UKinEU citizens.

Birmingham 1 October:
Fiona Godfrey and Nicolas Hatton will co-chair a fringe event about citizens’ rights at the Conservative Party Conference. Christopher Chantrey will attend another fringe event organised by Tories against Brexit in support of a People’s Vote. He will also speak on ‘Brexit from the expat point of view’ at the Conservatives Abroad Conference in London on 4 October.

Brussels 9-11 October: 
Jane Golding and Fiona Godfrey will be talking to the European Commission Article 50 Task Force and officials at the European Council. Fiona will address Green MEPs and we will be targeting other key MEPs (European Popular Party, Socialists, ALDE – liberals). Our key message will be this: ‘hold your line and don’t sign off on a Withdrawal Agreement that doesn’t include all our rights.’

London 20 October:
British in Europe and the3million will be taking part in the big March for a People’s Vote. We will hold a pre-march gathering at 10.30am at the aptly named Joy of Life Fountain in Hyde Park.

Westminster 5 November: 
We are going to Parliament on Guy Fawkes Day with the3million, British in Europe and UNISON, for a Day of Action. There will be a human chain from Parliament Square to 10 Downing Street, where we will deliver a letter to the Prime Minister, followed by a rally outside Parliament. In the afternoon, BiE steering group members, along with any members of our groups who wish to join us, will enter the Houses of Parliament to lobby MPs. We will ask them to sign a pledge to support the honouring of the agreement on citizens’ rights (as a minimum and whatever the outcome of the negotiations) and the strengthening of the Withdrawal Agreement to include freedom of movement.
Please get involved by joining the e-lobby or attending the day of action on Monday 5 November. For more information: https://britishineurope.org/thelastmile/ or to sign up directly: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brexit-the-last-mile-citizens-lobby-tickets-50144376179

* The mass grassroots e-lobby of MPs in support of this event will begin on 9 October.

For updates see the special Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BiEGoesToLondon/ 

British in Europe writes to the UK and EU Negotiating Teams

You have probably already seen the 2nd Open Letter that British in Europe has written to Dominic Raab in the UK and Michel Barnier in the EU regarding the fate of EU and UK citizens in a “no-deal” Brexit scenario.

If you haven’t, please take time to take a look now.

Maybe you could bring it to the attention of your UK MP or your MEP in Brussels. We are also planning to start a grassroots letter writing campaign to MdBs asap so please keep an eye out for that.

We only ask that the UK and EU agree to ring-fence the agreement that they have already come to regarding EU and UK citizens regardless of the outcome in the Brexit negotiations and end the uncertainty we are facing.

Launch of Free Movement campaign

British in Germany has teamed up with British in Europe to produce a video campaign highlighting the positive cases of free movement and calling for this to be put back on the table in negotiations.
We have had two professional videos made and want YOU to help this make some noise by making your own videos, watch the instructional video for more information on how to do this.
Please share anywhere and everywhere and encourage your friends/family/colleagues to make their own videos. We are looking forward to seeing your submissions.

Please view the current videos at our YouTube Channel by clicking on our banner to the above.

FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

is a fundamental right of all EU citizens. It means you can live, work, travel and study in any EU country.

Under the current draft UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement all UK citizens living in the EU will LOSE their right to Free Movement.

BUT IT’S NOT OVER YET!

There are 1.2 million British citizens living in the European Union. All of them plus their families, friends and colleagues would be affected if free movement were lost. We want Theresa May to put continuing free movement for UK citizens in the EU back on the negotiating table.

And YOU can really help!

WE CAN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Watch the instructional video to see HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED, and please like, subscribe and share this with everyone you know who could be affected.

#KeepFOM

How to send us a video

Remember to only use your first name in the videos! Title your video #KeepFOM – (your name)’s Story, blur or pixelate any faces of people not involved in the campaign and fill in the permission form before or after you send your video (if you do not do this we will not be able to use your submission!)

Via dropbox:

  1. Set up a free dropbox account online and upload your video to your account.
  2. Share your video with bievideocampaign@gmail.com (our dropbox account, not our email, for contact info see below!)
  3. Fill out the permission form here so we can use your video!

Via skype:

  1. Log into skype
  2. Find the contact British InEurope
  3. Choose the option to leave us a video message and send!
  4. Fill out the permission form here so we can use your video!

Want to send us a message?

Contact us at KeepFoM@britishineurope.org

What will happen with my video?

The video will be checked by members of the British in Europe team who will edit and cut the video depending on its length and relevance of content. Once agreed that the video is ok for upload on the YouTube channel and complies with social media policy, the BiE #KeepFOM hash tag label will be inserted in the bottom corner of the video as a stamp of approval, as on the first two professional films.

If we find that the video is being posted to other platforms without the permission or approval of the British in Europe Video Campaign team, copyright infringement will be brought to light and we will ask for immediate removal of the video.

Should you wish for your video to be removed from our platforms at a later date, we will comply and remove your video.

Social media policy

All videos will be first checked that they comply with the FoM campaign requirements and that they follow the generic guidelines put out by many social media campaigns preventing for example: Hate speech, Profanity, obscenity or vulgarity, nudity of any kind, defamation to a person or people, name calling and/or personal attacks, comments whose main purpose are to sell a product, comments that infringe on copyrights, spam comments such as the same comment posted repeatedly on a profile, any other comments that the BiE FoM Social Media team deem inappropriate.

BiG is inviting submissions from members in response to German draft bill

This consultation is now closed. We thank those that took time to send in their responses.

On 18.07.2018 British in Germany e.V. was contacted by the German Federal Foreign Office and invited to comment on a draft bill (“BrexitÜG”).

The draft bill is intended to provide legal certainty where provisions in German federal law refer to membership of the European Union or the European Atomic Energy Community.

Furthermore, the draft bill sets out a regulation regarding applications for German citizenship made by British citizens during the transition phase foreseen by the draft Withdrawal Agreement.

Under current German regulations, British citizens would have to give up their current citizenship in order to attain German citizenship, should a positive decision on their application be made after the transition period expires.

The draft bill foresees a change to this regulation that would enable dual British and German citizenship in such cases, as long as all further requirements for attaining German citizenship are fulfilled before the end of the transition period.

It has to be stressed that the draft proposal is at an early stage in the legislative process.

British in Germany e.V. is inviting its members to provide opinions on the draft as we formulate our official response. Submissions should be sent to info@britishingermany.org by 31.07.2018 at the latest.

Please note that we cannot guarantee that all comments will be taken into consideration in our response to the German Federal Foreign Office.

Photograph: By Avda / www.avda-foto.de, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28360028

Join us and become a Member today

Last night we contacted all our supporters to encourage them to join and become Members. This drive will help British in Germany increase its funds to continue the work we are doing supporting UK Citizens living in Germany.

A copy of the letter is shown below.

June 2018

 Dear Sir/Madam,

 We’re getting in touch because you have been interested/active in supporting the work of British in Germany.

 As some of you will appreciate, the next few months of the Brexit negotiations to October 2018 are critical in determining our future rights as UK citizens living in Germany.  Unfortunately, at present, there are many rights including free movement and how we secure our rights here that still hang in the balance.

 So, we want to pull out all the stops in the coming few months to make sure we’ve done all we can to protect our future rights as UK citizens living and working in Germany.

 Last week for example we started filming a free movement video campaign that British in Germany is leading on for the British in Europe coalition. The videos, through interviews with people who use free movement in their daily lives, make the positive case for UK citizens in the EU keeping free movement, which at present is not included in the draft Withdrawal Agreement despite being critical for the lives and livelihoods of many members.  Jane Golding, Chair of British in Germany and British in Europe has been in Brussels and London this week, first as part of the joint BiE/the3million lobby  meeting Michel Barnier’s team, the EU Council and MEPs including Guy Verhofstadt in Brussels, and then giving oral evidence to the House of Commons Exiting the EU Committee with three other BiE members from Luxembourg, Spain and France.  You can view the hearing here.  This is just a small example of the many actions BiG and BiE are involved in to try and secure our citizenship rights.

 As you may know, British in Germany is now registered to become an einvertragener Verein. This allows us to collect funds to increase the scope and impact of our campaigning.  Just as an example, the filming last week cost around 400 Euros just in expenses and equipment and that’s with everyone involved giving their time for free. We want to continue the ‘InfoAbends’ around the country with two successful startup meetings in Leipzig and Hannover and another successful Munich Beer Garden event just in the last couple of weeks. BiG groups are now well established in Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Paderborn, Hamburg and Nürnberg. A BiG priority is to increase our lobbying of German national, federal and local government who will be making decisions about our future status here in Germany.  While everyone in British in Germany gives their time for free at present, there are clearly expenses incurred with this work which we think is only right to reimburse. We would also consider, if funds permit, to open a small office. 

 So we’re writing to you to ask if you’d be willing to join British in Germany with a small membership fee of 15 Euros a year, plus any additional donation you would be able to make. You can do that here and you can prevent any commission being paid on Paypal donations by doing a bank transfer. As a member you will receive regular updates from us about events around the country, a newsletter and will be able to participate and vote in the annual general meeting.

 Many of the campaigns we are involved in stem from the EU-wide campaigns, legal and advocacy work of British in Europe, so it’s important to note that while people like Jane Golding are Chair of both British in Germany and British in Europe and therefore we can cover some of Jane’s travel expenses, British in Germany cannot legally share its funds easily with British in Europe.  So that means if you wish to donate to the advocacy work at UK, EU and EU 27 level of the wider coalition British in Europe you can do so here:

 Any further questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.  I am the volunteer Praktikantin for BiG until the end of August.  And just a heads up on a couple of events coming up: BiG will be marching with BiE on 23rd June in London and in Berlin and we’d love as many to join as possible.  Here’s more info on those two events: In London.   In Berlin.

 With your help, we can significantly up our efforts to do our utmost to secure the citizen rights we assumed would be life long when we all moved to other EU countries.

 Mit freundlichen Grüßen

 Emma Corris (Volunteer/Praktikantin for British in Germany)  info@britishingermany.org

Meeting with the Exiting the European Union Committee in London

Today, 6th June, Nicholas Hatton, Co-chair, the3million, Anne Laure Donskoy, Co-chair, the3million, and Barbara Drozdowicz, Chief Executive Officer, East European Resource Centre; Fiona Godfrey, Chair, British Immigrants living in Luxembourg (BRILL), and Deputy Chair of British in Europe, Jane Golding, Co-Chair, British in Germany, and Chair of British in Europe, Michael Harris, Chair, EuroCitizens, Spain, and Kalba Meadows, Founder, Remain in France Together (RIFT), France all met with and provided evidence to the Exiting the European Union Committee in London.

The meeting was divided into two sessions, one covering the situation of EU Citizens in the UK and the second covering that of UK Citizens in the EU.

The event was recorded and is available on Parliament Live TV, with the second session starting at 10:29:00.