Dear fellow EU citizen,
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 we are in.
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:
Luckily, Antonio was fine as the Home Office granted him Settled Status after the article above was printed, 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. You can listen to it at http://aca.st/e5f717
Camille Dupont in her piece for Routed Magazine also documents the feelings she has been through in a way we can all relate to:
Today'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 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 this morning on Twitter, she would not be in this country if the future rules had been in place. 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 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.
More information about the local elections in May: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_United_Kingdom_local_elections
Register to vote at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
In other news, we wrote a letter to the Dutch Senate this week in support of legislation to allow Dutch citizens in the UK to have dual nationality. The Netherlands cannot expect someone who chooses to secure their rights in the UK to give up EU citizenship. You can read the full letter at http://t3m.org.uk/t3m_nidv_snbn_goed_EersteKamer
We are not a Dutch Expat organisation though but never mind 😂
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...
Nicolas, founder member of the3million, the EU citizens' group
Many organisations are asking you to donate money for EU citizens but if you do, please choose the3million. Since 2016, we have been the leading organisation of EU citizens and no-one is better placed to continue to fight for our rights and against discrimination.
Join our 600-strong team of regular donors today. In 2020, we will continue to campaign to stop the Government making hundreds of thousands EU citizens unlawful in 2021, to secure physical documents, to maintain voting rights at local elections and to ease our access to British citizenship.
We simply couldn't do it without you and you can make a difference by becoming a supporter for the price of a cup of coffee a month.
IN THE MEDIA
Applying for Settled Status
Over two million EU citizens and their families have applied for Settled Status but it is not as straight forward as it seems and we recommend you seek help and ask questions before applying.
Our page Applying for Settled Status is good summary of the process, including what documents you will need to successfully apply:
The website from our sister charity Settled, which specialises in outreaching to EU citizens at risk, is also very helpful, as Settled Status is explained in a simple manner. They currently have information in 7 languages and growing.
Here for Good is a charity set up specifically to help you in applying for Settled Status.
You can conveniently call them if you have a question or seeking free immigration legal advice:
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays:
☎️ 020 70142 155 (standard phone charges apply)
Tuesdays and Thursdays:
☎️ 0115 9644 112 (standard phone charges apply)
The helpline is run with Bindmans LLP and Paragon Law
We also recommend the London Mayor information hub for EU citizens, which is available in 23 different languages:
The AIRE Centre has developed a practical tool to help EU citizens with their Settled Status application
UKCEN have developed a public forum to help with a Settled Status and British citizenship applications: https://www.forum.ukcen.com
We have also partnered with the European Commission in the UK and Here for Good to provide simple information about your rights as an EU citizen living in the UK. Click on the link below to find out more:
Settled Status information sessions:
Check this website to find out about information events about settled status near you: http://www.eurights.uk/events