Free movement essential for many Brit expat owned businesses in EU member states

Published:  18 Dec at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, Citizenship, Euro, England
The British in Europe expat rights group has put forward a set of three demands for its expat members as Theresa May moves to Phase 2 negotiations.

British in Europe is the largest expats' rights group with some 35,000 members to date, with its chair Jane Golding reported as not being best thrilled about the May/EU agreement which closed the first stage of the Brexit negotiations. British residents on Gibraltar were equally unhappy about their being excluded from the agreement reached on behalf of EU citizens in the UK and Brits in Europe. According to Golding, British in Europe is demanding the EU and UK must clarify and uphold the full rights now available to those affected by Brexit, whether in the UK or EU member states.

The group has highlighted three absolute priorities in a statement to Theresa May.
Firstly, it has requested continuing negotiations on expat rights over a number of regular meetings with the same EU team. The group believes working with the same lawmakers every time will ensure a greater understanding of the issues at play and will foster better relationships with the opposite side’s decision makers.

The second demand by British in Europe is crucial, as it demands the same rights enjoyed by Britons in Europe at present should be continued post-Brexit and include the all-important right to freedom of movement. Importantly, given previous experience, the third demand is that a statement promising no backtracking on promised rights must be issued by Number 10. The statement should include both the rights already agreed and those which may well be agreed during the second stage of negotiations.

According to Golding, when the UK joined the EU it was a no-border single territory, not a group of countries with walls set up along boundaries. Deferring discussions about free movement, she said, leaves huge numbers of enterprising UK expats who’ve built up businesses in Europe over the past 40 years or so with no idea as to how they can make a living without free movement.
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