Campaigner, Brian Cave from the 'Votes for Expat Brits' pressure group gives an update on post-Brexit Europe and the progress of the Votes for Life legal challenge by veteran activist Harry Shindler which now is being assessed at the United Nations Commission of Human Rights.
"There are two avenues to explore.
1. Whether to fight the legality of the result or
2. To accept the result and demand that the British Government achieves protection of the way of life of British Citizens in the EU after Brexit.
The bulk of Citizens abroad should long ago have been more insistent on achieving the Right to Vote. Too many have said ‘I don’t want the vote’ and it is that attitude that has led us to this crisis. This lack of true political representation to the British Government affects a great many British citizens in various ways throughout the world.
Whatever your attitude towards ‘Brexit’, Votes for Life should be an absolute priority for the British Government. The Manifesto of the Conservatives promised it. France and Italy give all their Citizens full representation, with designated deputies (MPs) to their Assemblies.
Britain fails its responsibilities under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
Harry Shindler has submitted a plea to the United Nations Commission of Human Rights. Its reception has been acknowledged. His plea relates particularly to Article 21 of the Declaration of Human Rights.
Harry was constrained in this action until all other avenues for redress were explored. That he has done through the European Court of Human Rights (this is not a Court of the European Union) and recently the Supreme Court of the UK.
Harry and many more British Citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years had no vote in the Referendum and have no vote in any General Election.
Article 21. of the UN Declaration of Human Rights states.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Harry hopes that the UN will intervene to declare the Referendum unrepresentative of the citizens of the nation (thus – the ‘country’. Is not the UK the country of the British citizens wherever they live?) and therefore illegal.
The UK was a party to this declaration.
In addition, 1,000 lawyers have written jointly to the Government – Bindmans lawyers also has written a long letter - view here - making a case that the Referendum decision must be debated and decided by Parliament. Bindmans makes the point that the Referendum was not binding on parliament. It follows that MPs should consider all aspects of the campaign. The legal position on this will be made available within a short time and will be circulated.
What to do if Brexit is likely to be triggered.
There is a new website on which you can join a mailing list: Expat Citizens' Rights in the EU
Both in France and Spain a group of professional media people are setting up web sites to collate information from British Citizens to intercede with politicians in Westminster – a kind of clearing house of concerns. The politicians need to understand these concerns. The above link introduces this endeavour. Sign up and detail the areas of your concerns.
Early Day Motion – in Parliament.
34 MPs so far have signed this motion which shows great concern for the position of British Citizens in the EU as well as the EU citizens in the UK
The Theresa May Government has set up a department under David Davis to explore arrangements for Brexit. So David Davis is the central figure to whom to present those concerns.
For a great many pensioners living in the EU there are two matters of considerable importance.
1. The protection of healthcare.
2. The continuance of the full State pension and associated Old Age and other Benefits (like the Winter Fuel payment, disability benefits).
David Davis email address is email@example.com
For citizens of all ages….
The Right of current residence is probably under no threat. But the following Rights may be affected.
1. To move throughout the EU
2. To set up a business
3. To continue or move one’s work base.
You can yourself make representation to David Davis and any MP whom you could influence.
Harry Shindler is 95 today, July 18th, 2016 - Happy Birthday!