Protest groups lobby peers before Brexit amendment debate

Published:  27 Feb at 6 PM
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UK expats in Europe have been urged to lobby members of the House Of Lords over an amendment to the proposed Brexit Bill.

The amendment is due to be debated this week in the British parliament’s Upper House, with its aim the protection of the rights of Britons living in EU member states. It demands that, before Brexit is triggered by the activating of Article 50, the UK must guarantee all rights of EEA nationals now in the UK as well as prioritising an early negotiated agreement preserving the rights of UK expats living in the EEA area as well as in Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

Campaigners have been lobbying for the amendment as well as urging Brit expats in the EU to email members of the Upper House, concentrating on cross-part independent peers. The amendment document itself is the result of lobbying by an expat coalition supporting Britons living abroad, and was drafted by members of the groups with legal backgrounds.

The Brexit Bill as passed by the House of Commons is sparsely worded and makes no reference to the similar plights of EU expats in Britain and UK expats living in European Union countries, simply giving Theresa May the right to trigger Britain’s EU divorce. Although the PM has promised to prioritise negotiations over the rights of the affected millions, their omission from the bill prevents her promise from being legally binding on the government.

The expat group coalition includes the British Community Committee of France, Ecrue, Remain in France Together, Fair Deal for Expats, British in Italy, Brits in Europe (Germany), Brexpats Hear Our Voice, (Belgium), Bremain in Spain, British Immigrants Living in Luxembourg, EuroCitizens (Spain) and New Europeans (UK). Close ties were also made with the 3Million group representing EU citizens living in the UK.
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