New Europeans supporter’s bike pilgrimage boosts EU Green Card

Published:  23 Jul at 6 PM
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A ‘New Europeans’ supporter is undertaking a 2,000 kilometre bike ride to boost the group’s EU Green Card proposal.

Rafal Skarbek is cycling from his home in Somerset to the Spanish pilgrimage site at Santiago de Compostela in order to publicise New Europeans’ award-winning European Green Card proposal aimed at protecting expats’ post-Brexit rights to free movement across the EU. He’ll join the historic Camino pilgrimage route in northern Spain after cycling through France, and is seeing the route as a traditional symbol of the right to move freely across the European continent.

Rafal arrived in the UK with his parents 37 years ago as a child and is cycling for all EU and UK expats living outside their home countries and potentially affected by the reality of Brexit as regards free movement to work, study and visit family and friends back home. At the start of his journey he told reporters some five million human beings will be affected by the loss of the right to travel freely in Europe, adding ‘the Green Card proposal will be a physical proof of their status’. Since its inception, the idea has gained the support of a number of MEPs, with EU expats living in the UK strongly in its favour as Britain has not yet stated any intention as regards physical documents proving their settled status. During his journey, Rafal is hoping to meet up with British expats in Bordeaux, Paris and Bilbao in order to better understand how the threat of Brexit is affecting their lives.

Founder of New Europeans Roger Casale told the media the journey will draw international attention to the card’s campaign in the hope it will be introduced in time. Prior to undertaking the journey, Rafal worked for a decade with a Somerset charity dedicated to supporting expat individuals and their families from various EU member states who’re now living in the UK. Most of his work is with youngsters and children in the field of further education, helping ensure immigrant children have the best start in life. He sees the journey as his personal pilgrimage on behalf of all those whose lives may be wrecked by Brexit.
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