Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, wrote Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in January 1849. The expression has become known worldwide for immutability and expresses precisely the current situation EU citizens are in.


First published in February 2020.


The UK left the EU nearly three weeks ago, and Brexit continues to be a source of discord across the UK. In the meanwhile, we, the people who came from abroad to live, study, work, love and be a member of our local communities, are paying the price, as we translate the ridiculous gaslighting of immigrants into feelings of betrayal, anxiety and mistrust.


The latest story about an elderly EU citizen struggling with the Settled Status application scheme brought tears to my eyes.

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Italian man, 95, resident in UK for 68 years, told to prove it. / The Guardian

Luckily, Antonio was fine as the Home Office granted him Settled Status after the article was printed in the Guardian, but how many more people will struggle or won’t apply because they worry about the system, or simply cannot understand how it works?

On Valentine’s day, our lovely Monique Hawkins was starring in the Remainiacs podcast and you ought to listen to her, as she explains eloquently how these feelings of betrayal, anxiety and mistrust developed while Brexit unfolded.

Keeping The Lights On for EU citizens. / Remainiacs - The Brexit Podcast

Camille Dupont in her piece for Routed Magazine also documents the feelings she has been through in a way we can all relate to.

A relationship beyond borders: The emotional impact of Brexit. / Routed

Wednesday’s publication of future immigration rules reveals the current administration only sees us as an economic commodity. Yet, it’s a cultural issue centred around a waning English identity that shook this island in 2016, and I very much doubt that the awakened nationalist demons of the referendum campaign will be put to sleep by a series of bureaucratic rules over work permits.

As Alexandrine Kantor put it very nicely on Twitter – she would not be in this country if the future rules had been in place.

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The same applies to Sajid Javid’s Dad who arrived in Rochdale “with a £1 note in his pocket”.

Or Priti Patel’s parents when they emigrated from Uganda in the 1960s.

Hypocrisy is a word that comes to mind...

For a better understanding of the proposed future rules, check Colin Yeo’s analysis on his Free Movement blog.


In our last newsletter, we publicised an email we received from the Electoral Commission confirming that EU citizens will be able to vote in local elections in May.

Subsequently, we asked a further question about our ability to stand as candidates and the answer was positive too. If you are thinking of getting involved in local politics, there is no better time to stand as a candidate.

Received from the Electoral Commission

Find out more information about the local elections in May.

Register to vote at the local elections in May.

In other news, we wrote a letter to the Dutch Senate last week in support of legislation to allow Dutch citizens in the UK to have dual nationality.

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Dutch expat organisations urge senate to vote on dual nationality law. / DutchNews.nl

The Netherlands cannot expect someone who chooses to secure their rights in the UK to give up EU citizenship. (Read the full letter here...)

We are not a Dutch Expat organisation though but never mind. 😂


Finally, next week, we will advertise the first dates of the this is our home UK tour, starting in Bristol on 9 March. Our aim is to meet and inform EU citizens about their rights across the four nations of the UK.

Watch this space...🔷


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Check their Voting Record:

🗳️ Sajid Javid

🗳️ Priti Patel





 

Many organisations are asking you to donate money for EU citizens but if you do, please choose the3million. Since 2016, they have been the leading organisation of EU citizens in the UK and no-one is better placed to continue to fight for their rights and against discrimination.

If you can help their campaign to continue, you can:


 






[This piece was originally published on the3million newsletter and re-published in PMP Magazine on 21 February 2020, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Pexels.)