European Brit

A passionate supporter of the European Union, a polyglot Brit looks at life post Brexit vote.



Hinckley Point Without Protection of Euratom?

For everyone who voted Leave to kick the foreigners out, ie the ones we vitally need to support many growth industries eg farming, hospitality, construction, social care (yes, I watched the two hour Select Committee on the Labour Market after Brexit with industry experts talking to Conservatives from DWP) plus of course the NHS, this should also deeply worry you.

Britain is building a new nuclear power station at Hinckley Point yet by leaving the EU, we shall also be leaving Euratom, the EU agency responsible for nuclear safety and security.

We also need to know whether the UK will leave:
1. Europol – shares policing intelligence
2. Eurojust – coordinates investigation and persecution of serious crime and terrorism
3. European Medicines Agency – regulates quality, safety and provision of medicines across EU (your life might depend on one of these) and 6 months ahead of Canada and Oz
4. European Aviation Safety Agency – self-explanatory
5. European Food Safety Agency – eg USA wash chickens in chlorinated water and inject beef with growth hormones which are not allowed in Europe

Whatever made you vote Leave, there are plenty more valid reasons to vote Remain. Write to your MP before it’s too late. Ask for assurances that this government will not leave us out in the cold when we currently enjoy so much protection.


Letter to MP: Demand a Final Vote on Brexit by the People

Feel free to plagiarise my letter and write to your own MP.

Dear xxx,

The Prime Minister’s Brexit speech outlined what she wants to achieve in negotiations with the EU27 albeit with many idealistic aims rather than plans and in contrast with the Conservative Party Manifesto commitment to remain in the Single Market. Your Leader has demonstrated her wish to sacrifice jobs and business to satisfy the demands to control immigration. Yet as Home Secretary for six years, she had the opportunity to control immigration but chose not to. She could have applied the EU 2004 law whereby EU migrants must prove they have a job, are studying or have financial means to support themselves within three months of arrival. However, she knew that EU migrants actually earn the UK economy far more in net taxation than they cost, a message she is ignoring now to satisfy the right-wing Eurosceptics and constituencies where UKIP are chasing the Conservative vote. How shameful that she is protecting her own position and keeping her government in power to the detriment of the country’s future.

I am glad that Mrs May has agreed to give Parliament a vote on the final destination but there must also be a vote by the people. This will include (a) all the 15-17 year olds who were too young to vote in 2016 but whose future will be affected and (b) must include UK citizens living in EU27. The outcome of these negotiations affects their rights as UK citizens too. As my MP, I ask you please to demand this vital democratic right.

I am also pleased that Mrs May has just announced a White Paper on the bill to trigger Article 50 giving all MPs and Peers a chance for full debate and to table amendments. The government lost 80 days and a great deal of taxpayers’ money by choosing to challenge the High Court judgment but must not now rush either House with this vital step.

Are our acquired rights as EU citizens about to be taken away?

The Leave campaign asserted that, in the event of the vote going in their favour, Article 70 of the little known Vienna Convention of 1969 would protect all those rights acquired by UK citizens during the UK’s 44 years of EEC/EC/EU membership.

I do not believe that the vote to leave provides any mandate to take away our individual rights acquired over 44 years of the UK’s membership of the EEC/EU. Indeed, Lord Neuberger’s statement that “certain rights enjoyed by UK citizens will be changed” appears to be one of the principal reasons that the Supreme Court has ruled that Article 50 cannot be triggered without the approval of Parliament.

Will “taking back control” mean a loss of acquired rights? The May Administration must answer these questions concerning the rights of UK citizens living in the UK and abroad. Here are a dozen initial questions:

  1. Post Brexit, will UK citizens be able to study, live, work (employed or self-employed) and retire freely anywhere in EU27?

  2. Will travelling to EU27 require UK citizens to join separate immigration queues and obtain visas?

  3. Will UK citizens maintain access to a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that currently enables them to receive health care free or at reduced cost at the point of use? The EHIC has reduced the cost of travel insurance. Health insurance is vital for UK citizens living in EU27.

  4. Will UK citizens be able to shop and bring home goods from anywhere in the EU27 (subject to laws concerning illegal or restricted items) without paying tariffs or excise duties?

  5. Will retired UK citizens in EU27 countries be able to continue living in their country of choice or will they need to reapply for residency and will their state pensions be protected, whether paid by the UK or an EU state?

  6. Will children of UK citizens working and living in the EU27 still be able to attend local state schools and will secondary education qualifications gained by UK citizens in other EU countries still be recognised for access to UK universities?

  7. Will children of UK citizens be allowed to attend low cost EU universities? Will they be allowed to remain in the EU27 after taking their degree(s)?

  8. Will UK workers in the EU27 be subject to the requirements for obtaining a work permit if Freedom of Movement is no longer possible and will their professional and educational qualifications be recognised in the same way as they are today?

  9. Will they be able to apply to become nationals of their chosen country and so hold dual nationality?

  10. Will young UK citizens continue to benefit from the Erasmus student exchange programme, which currently allows UK university students to study or work abroad for between 3-12 months and receive free tuition and some living costs from the EU?

  11. Will the government guarantee that the withdrawal from EU agencies such as Europol and Eurojust will not expose us to greater risks in the fight against serious international crime and terrorism? If so, how will this be done?

  12. Will the government guarantee that the rights of safety and protection provided through our membership of agencies such as the following will not be impaired, if so, how will this be done?

  • European Agency for Health and Safety at Work

  • European Aviation Safety Agency

  • European Food Safety Authority

  • European Medicines Agency

  • European Chemicals Agency

Finally, Charles Goerens MEP proposed that UK citizens who do not wish to lose the rights of EU citizens be granted Associate EU Citizenship and I fully support this idea.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Antonia Harrison

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