Category Archives: British in Germany

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.

BiG in The Guardian: Brexit means… more Brits taking up German citizenship

As The Guardian reports:

A record number of Britons took up German citizenship in 2017, according to authorities who cited Brexit as the “obvious” reason for the leap in numbers.

The German press has dubbed them neue Deutschbriten, or ‘new German Britons.’

Ingrid Taylor, founding member of the Bavarian branch of British in Germany, is quoted:

It finally made me feel safe from the shenanigans of the negotiating process. It means, quite simply, I can continue working and living here as a citizen of the EU, enjoying the advantages that come with that and the uncertainty has gone.

People are gradually getting more and more nervous realising that they could be very disadvantaged in their careers and way of life without an EU passport. Even many of those who have said: ‘it’ll be alright’ have stopped putting their faith in the politicians. Our advice is: don’t wait, do it as soon as you can.

You can read the whole article here.

161% increase in Brits gaining German citizenship in 2017

The official, Germany-wide figures on naturalisation (Einbürgerung) in 2017 have been published today. You can find the German-language press release from the Federal Statistical office here.

In 2017, the overall number of applications for German citizenship was up 1.7%. Here’s a summary of the key data:

  • Brits (7,493) were second only to the Turks (14,984) in the overall figures (total: 112,211), which means 161% more Brits than in 2016!
  • Taking just EU countries, the Brits take the lead in naturalisation.
  • This represents 10% of the potential: only 1 in 10 Brits who are officially eligible for German citizenship have acquired it, but of course, we know there are still many applications in the pipeline.

Interestingly, around 9% of all Brits who became German citizens in 2017 applied from outside Germany. Most of them will be older people who lost their German citizenship during the Nazi period, and their descendants.

What’s more, while the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees uses 10 years registration in Germany as a base for calculating those eligible, in fact 8 years’ residence is standard, so the number for those eligible may in fact be even higher.

While Brits who’ve been granted German citizenship before the end of March 2019 can retain their British citizenship, and therefore have dual nationality, those whose German citizenship applications are not granted until after Brexit will face a choice between being British or German, but won’t be able to retain both.

No doubt the number of British Einbürgerung applications this year will be even higher…

When Emma met Eddie…

Meet British in Germany’s new intern Emma Corris.  Eddie Izzard did!

Emma’s only been in Berlin 3 weeks and has has already written a front page article in the local Leipzig Glocal, motivating a turnout of over 60 Brits at the first Leipzig British in Germany meeting on 16  May.

The whole British in Germany team want to welcome Emma to Berlin, and her work is already having a strong impact on the BiG campaigns going all out in the crucial few months ahead.

10% of Brits in Leipzig attend first BiG event

On Wednesday 16 May, we were delighted to be able to host the first ever British in Germany event in Leipzig. The event was attended by Mr. Tim Jones, head of the Economic, Finance and Trade Team at the British Embassy, and featured a talk from Daniel Tetlow, co-founder of BiG. David Smith, Head of the Leipzig International School, very kindly agreed to moderate the evening.

There were  roughly 60 attendees which, on the basis of latest German statistics, means that 10 per cent of registered Brits in Leipzig turned up. Particular thanks go to Emma Corris and Raj Dahya for their sterling recruitment work over the last week.

It was impressive to see the wide range of people–not just Brits–who came to ask questions and to show their support, from Italian teachers to business people and German immigration lawyers.

The evening began with a speech from Mr. Tim Jones with the central message that you will be ‘largely protected under the Withdrawal Agreement’.  The issue, of course, is what exactly is the definition of ‘largely protected’.

Daniel Tetlow from BiG started by taking to task David Davis’ claim of 29 March 2018:

We have secured the rights of the million Brits living in the EU and the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK – meaning that they can look to their futures with confide

nce, knowing that they can carry on living their lives as they do now.”

Tetlow said quite simply that this was not the case, and that this illustrated the work that still needs to be done by citizens’ rights groups like British in Germany and British in Europe.  When Tetlow went on to describe the impact of the present draft Withdrawal Agreement, it elicited looks of shock and horror from many of the audience.

Though it is encouraging for BiG to see that we can provide some clarity on just what exactly is and is not ‘protected under the withdrawal agreement’, we were struck by the countless examples of the impact that curtailing free movement will have on so many residing in Germany. Free movement became the predominant topic of the discussion, and it soon became evident that ensuring rights only in the host country will not be sufficient for many individuals’ livelihoods. There were testimonies from musicians and stagehands who travel across many EU27 states for work who are unlikely to qualify as frontier workers; there were those who have been in Germany for less than 5 years with family across the world who fear that they cannot leave Germany to visit their relatives; and then there were those who fear for the security and educational rights of their children. Leipzig was a success in terms of BiG’s goal to inform more Britons about their changing rights, and hopefully to motivate a BiG Leipzig group.

Our thanks go to David Smith for his excellent moderation of the event, and Emma Corris and Raj Dahya for their invaluable help in recruiting for and organising the logistics of the evening.  Next up, Dresden: watch this space!

An article was posted on The Leipzig Glocal – Leipzig’s insider Blog and Webzine in English.  before the event took place. It is still an interesting read and can be found on the website here.

David Davies before the House of Lords Select Committee

David Davies appeared before the House of Lords European Union Select Committee on Tuesday 1 May 2018 Meeting started at 16:28, ended 18.02.

UK Citizens in the EU were mentioned briefly at 16:53.

David Davies acknowledged that UK citizens did move between Member States, for example, living in one state while working in another but appeared to suggested this was confined to those living near borders and in the Low Countries, rather than acknowledging that this affected not only UK citizens living near another state’s border, but all UK citizens who for example live in one state and have to travel for work to one or more EU countries during the year or those who work on the basis of short or medium-term contracts with companies or clients in one or more EU countries, even if this does not mean they physically travel to those countries every day or on a regular basis.

He had also not appreciated that even retired UK citizens might want to move from one state to another as their retirement situation changed.

The short discussion can be found at 16:53 in the recording on the Parliament TV website below.