Last night’s 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 here, and the entire show at the C4 news website.
You can also watch the opening speeches at the British Embassy event below, from Sir Sebastian Wood (British Ambassador to Berlin), Christoph Wolfrum (Federal Foreign Office); Jane Golding, Chair, British in Europe and British in Germany, and Engelhard Mazanke, (Berlin Foreigners’ Registration Office).
As part of British in Germany’s first nationwide Stammtisch, UK nationals met in around 20 different locations (see below for list) on Wednesday, 12 December. While the date was chosen specifically to follow the meaningful vote in Parliament, a last-minute postponement brought about a shift in focus. Fortunately – or rather unfortunately – UK politics is the gift that keeps on giving and one vote was quickly replaced for another (a no confidence vote in Theresa May by the Conservatives). Certainly there was no shortage of news to talk about, but most of it was very unsettling!
Whether the groups consisted of five or thirty people, conversation flowed as easily as the local beer. Participants were keen to discuss the scenarios that could unfold in the coming weeks, though nobody was brave enough to place bets. Although two of the Bavarian Stammtische did envisage a last-minute intervention by the Queen!
In Frankfurt there was a shared feeling of resignation and concern that the plight of citizens was being swept under the carpet in what is perceived to be a game of political poker. A number of other groups expressed fears for peace and economic stability in Europe in the light of Brexit.
Aside from the uncertainties of deal or no deal, attention focused on practical issues and what UK nationals can do to safeguard their positions now. The no-deal checklist provided by British in Germany e.V. prompted some to set off the next day to exchange their UK driving licences for a German one and others to file their German citizenship application.
Questions were raised about UK bank accounts and securing favourable exchange rates, participants using the Stammtische to share their experiences with alternative mobile banking apps. In Ottobrunn, David Hole talked about the introduction of registration requirements for Brits in Germany post Brexit: “UK nationals will be required to register in some manner; the exact process and deadlines are yet to be announced.”
A Bavarian official, who was also invited along to Ottobrunn, concurred and assured us that this process would be kept as simple as possible. Issues relating to dual citizenship applications were also raised – and some wanted to know how to challenge negative decisions.
Towards the end of the evening the result of the confidence vote in Theresa May came through – one more twist in this ongoing saga. What´s the next going to be? On the whole, however, Brits in Germany overall appear to have faith in the German authorities to do the right thing by the UK nationals living here. But until the road ahead is clear, British in Germany e.V. will be monitoring further developments closely, to be discussed at the next round of Stammtisch gatherings in the New Year.
German TV and radio showed a keen interest in this nationwide Stammtisch initiative. The TV channel ZDF interviewed the group in Düsseldorf, and Fritzradio did a report on the group in Berlin.
British in Germany would like to thank all volunteers who played a pivotal role in making the first nationwide Stammtisch a resounding success. We encourage you to look out for more information on the next Stammtische near to you, for example in Bamberg, Berlin, Bremen, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Eberstadt, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Mainz, Miesbach, Munich, Ottobrunn, Nuremberg, Potsdam, Stuttgart, Trier.
Many thanks goes to the BiG Events team for organising the nationwide event: Amanda Diel, Ingrid Taylor and Connie Simms.
If you would like to set up a Stammtisch in your area or join in this next nationwide Stammtisch movement, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Stammtisch were held in the following locations:
Moosstraße 32, 96050 Bamberg, Germany
Brewdog Berlin Mitte
Ackerstraße 29, 10115 Berlin
* Due to a limited amount of places, please RSVP to this event by email by Sunday at 5PM if you wish to attend.
Bahnhofsplatz 5-7, 28195 Bremen, Germany
The Corkonian Irish Pub
Altermarkt 51, 50667 Cologne, Germany
Motel One Düsseldorf – Hauptbahnhof
Immermannstraße 54, 40210 Düsseldorf, Germany
The Fox and Hound
Niedenau Str 2, 60325 Frankfurt, Germany
Weihnachtsmarkt am Gänsemarkt
Gänsemarkt, 20354 Hamburg, Germany
Infoabend on the 13th of December
Poststraße 15, 69115 Heidelberg
Nikolaistraße 22, 04109 Leipzig
19:00 (if you can arrive at least 10 mins early to allow numbers to be gauged that would be useful)
Café Central Magdeburg
Sternstraße 30, 39104, Magdeburg, Germany
Me and all Hotels
Binger Straße 23, 55131
Am Windfeld 23, 83714 Miesbach
Munich (2 Stammtische)
1. Ayinger Ottobrunn – Das Wirtshaus am Rathausplatz
Rathausplatz 2, 85521 Ottobrunn
2. Gaststätte Rumpler
Baumstraße 21, 80469 München
Adina Apartment Hotel
Dr Kurt Schumacher Str 1-7, 90402 Nürnberg
Seeheim – Jugenheim
Bergstraße 19, 64342
* On the 11th of December not the 12th!
Christmas Drinks Gathering on the 13th of December
Academie der Schönen Künste
Charlottenstraße 5, 70173 Stuttgart, Germany
Der Italiener da Marco Alt
Kurfürstenstr. 47, 54516 Wittlich
Adam Takar, one of the British in Germany Interns, reports on the recent InfoAbend in Bremen.
Last Tuesday, the British Embassy held a citizens’ info event in the Bremen Chamber of Commerce with British in Germany e.V. and the Migrationsamt. The night kicked off with drinks and discussion, where Brits got to meet and get to know each other. Although Daniel and I arrived late thanks to a sudden train cancellation (so much for the famed German efficiency), Daniel Tetlow nevertheless made up for it with a well-received speech. The Embassy, though their hands are still tied, could not offer much in the way of any new information or reassurance beyond the same line they have been towing over the past few months; that they are unsure of what will happen in the event of a no deal, and that they can only provide guidance on what should be done as stated in the draft Withdrawal Agreement.
Fortunately, despite it being last minute, I was asked to speak too during BiG’s speech, making up for the fact I was not able to as part of the mass lobby on the 5th. I’d never done anything quite like this before, so was a little shaky getting up on the podium, and, though I was perhaps a little less well-versed in public-speaking than Daniel, it was a worthwhile experience to put a smile on some of the audience’s faces. A young voice has been largely missing from the Brexit debates and negotiations in Britain so far, and thus BiG offering Connie and me to actually speak in a public setting has been something we are both very grateful for.
Following the speeches, came the Q&A, which focused predominantly on issues of overseas housing, what Germany’s policies will be post-Brexit day (no more information here as of when I’m writing), healthcare, voter registration and pet passports, an issue surprisingly never asked about previously. Prisca Merz of the Embassy was extremely helpful as always giving citizens an update of the current situation, but, as we can expect, not many concrete answers could really be given at the time, e.g. that economically inactive Britons in the EU will be able to claim healthcare costs from the NHS if there is a deal, and that pet passports may have new requirements in the event of a no deal etc. In short, answers tended to be more conditional than definite.
British in Germany has, as a result of the event, managed to raise €135 from donations, which, as always, we are extremely appreciative of. We got to know several more Brits in Germany, and we’d invite anyone who hasn’t, to either become a member, or send us a donation. In this especially turbulent political climate, all the support you can give is much appreciated to ensure that we can continue preserving British citizens’ rights here in Germany. We have even featured in local news as a result of the event:
Finally, for any Brits in and around Bremen, we would love to invite you to our first Stammtisch event! This will be a more relaxed evening where you can meet fellow Brits and discuss the latest developments re: Brexit. We look forward to seeing you at Loft (Bahnhofspl. 5, Bremen – above Paddy’s) from 19:30 on Wednesday 28th November.
If there are any remaining questions that could have been asked, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to try and help you.
Laura Shields gave an interview to Simon Bolton of Sky News following the adoptions of the Withdrawal Agreement on Sunday 25th November.
British in Germany representative Dave Hole together with the British Consulate Munich and the Deutsch Britische Gesellschaft Rhein-Neckar e.V are holding an InfoAbend in Heidelberg.
Poststraße 15, 69115, Heidelberg, Germany
18:00 – 20:30
The British Consulate Munich and the Deutsch Britische Gesellschaft Rhein-Neckar e.V. will host an Open Evening for UK Nationals in Heidelberg on Thursday 13 December at 6pm at the Heidelberg Stadtbuecherei.
British Consul General Simon Kendall will give an update on the status of negotiations on citizens’ rights and what this means for you. Joining him will be Nicola Hayton (President of the DBG Rhein-Neckar e.V) and David Hole (British in Germany). Following the opening remarks, are speakers are primarily here to answer your questions about your rights post-Brexit. The event is primarily aimed at British nationals living in and around Heidelberg. Family members and friends are of course welcome to attend.
Doors open at 5.30 pm. The event will run from 6pm to 8.30 pm. We look forward to welcoming you then.
This event can also be found in our Events Calendar.
Image – By Christian Bienia. – Farbkorrektur von de:Bild:Heidelberg.jpg by Godewind 18:13, 1 January 2006 (UTC), CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=489975
“Ich glaub nicht, dass ich rausgeworfen werde.”
With the threat of a “no deal” looming ever larger, about 50 Brits in Munich gathered on Monday evening, 26 November, for a Stammtisch entitled “End Game – Are you ready?”.
A journalist and a photographer from the Süddeutsche Zeitung came along to report on our concerns at this critical point in the Brexit process. Worries centred on residence status post Brexit, loss of onward freedom of movement, healthcare costs, citizenship and family reunion. Comparisons were also drawn with the plight of EU citizens in the UK.
The organising team of British in Bavaria gave updates on the main themes, reporting on recent lobbying activities and urging all Brits to consult the “no deal checklist” on the British in Germany website. Then followed a Q&A session and an exchange of views on what happens next.
Images (c) – Clive Ashbolt
The Stuttgart chapter will be holding a Christmas drinks party on Thursday, 13 December, an opportunity to meet the new committee and hear about some of the events planned for 2019! All welcome!
Academie der Schönsten Künste, 70182 ,Stuttgart-Mitte
From 19:00 onwards
Details are also available in a flyer, download by clicking on the icon beneath.
This event also appears in our Events Calendar.
Image: By Julian Herzog, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43511715
British in Europe has again found it necessary to write to Theresa May to protest at stated British government policy with regard to Brexit, freedom of movement and its treatment of our EU27 friends and colleagues living in the UK.
Please see the letter on the British in Europe website or download the letter by clicking on the icon below.
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