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Halfway through transition: where are we?

 HALFWAY THROUGH TRANSITION: WHERE ARE WE?The world's focus is on the health emergency and most people have almost forgotten the dreaded 'B word'.
But we are approaching halfway through the transition period before the UK's definitive departure from the EU and very little has happened to clarify how the Withdrawal Agreement will be implemented for Britons in the EU.
We take stock of the state of citizens' rights for UK citizens in the EU and EEA, and explain what British in Europe is doing to fight for them. 

The Guidance Note, published last month, has helped - see Kalba Meadow's first instalment of what it means for us. However, we still have no definitive list of member states which will take the constitutive route and which will follow the more benevolent declaratory route for registering UK citizens. With only six months before the end of transition, few EU countries have even announced their implementation plans, let alone put them into practice, so we are pressing national governments as hard as we can. Meanwhile, BiE is continuing its long-standing campaign to get the UK government to treat returning British citizens fairly.

We are also at a delicate point politically, with EU/UK negotiations turning sour, thus putting us in danger, once more, of becoming piggy in the middle. As a result, BiE has been hyperactive in both Westminster and Brussels. Our amendment to the UK Immigration Bill did not prosper, but having it put forward was a major step forward - and there will be further opportunities to amend and submit again. Jeremy Morgan's oral evidence to the House of Commons Committee about the bill's effects on UK citizens, came on the heels of our written evidence to the Select Committee on the Future Relationship with the EU. In the European Parliament, after intense lobbying, we influenced the final resolution on the EU/UK negotiations.

Since June 2016 - yes, yesterday was the fourth anniversary of that referendum - we have learnt much about hard political realities. We have discovered that, even in a situation as clear as the UK's departure from the EU, citizens' rights must be fought for every inch of the way. This is a long, hard battle and we still must ensure that the rights of every single UK citizen in the EU are protected in practice (not just in theory) by the Withdrawal Agreement, that everybody can register simply and fairly, that nobody is discriminated against or unfairly treated.

If you think the same, that we need to keep up the pressure, to remain vigilant and to keep on fighting tooth and nail, please consider donating to us.



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