To make a point about the fact that that we, as British citizens who are also EU citizens, appear to be being left out of the EU citizenship discussions, I decided to take matters into my own hands and produce a giant EU passport !!
The statement in the Big EU Passport is as follows :
"This UK Passport gives us, as EU Citizens, the Right to live and work in 28 EU Countries (& 3 EEA Countries). We, the undersigned, do not want to lose this Right and ask that our Rights are fully protected and that they are valued and considered in any Brexit negotiations."Latest news:
On 8th October, we went along to outside the SNP Conference in Glasgow and guess who we met! The latest person to sign the Passport - SNP MEP Alyn Smith who has made some fabulous speeches in the European Parliament and keeps us all up to date with what is going on there:
And we met up with Boris Johnson who was on a tour of Political Party Conferences! And taking the chance to have a trade mission to foreign lands ! He brought along Theresa May as well! (ok it was Faux BoJo the excellent impersonator) (https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/fauxbojo/)
So that is the latest news but to go back to earlier in the year when I began the "Big EU Passport" Campaign.
I then made contact with some of the fabulous EU Remain groups I have met at some meetings and marches this year. They were happy to sign. Here I am receiving the signatures in Perth from the Perth for EU group representative. The NE group in Newcastle and the Dumfries group also signed as did the European Movement in Scotland group who collected numerous signatures in Edinburgh.
And I was very honoured to receive the signature of our longest serving MEP, David Martin and on the first anniversary of the announcement of the EU Referendum vote result announcement :
And here are just some of the folk in a discussion group I go along to where we speak French who were all happy to sign the passport. Many (if not all) of these people have family and work connections with France :
Here is Catherine Stihler, MEP with Bill Rodger of the European Movement in Scotland with the Passport while at the Conference of Europeanists at University of Glasgow. Thank you for signing and for your support Catherine !
We also have signatures from a number of other people including MPs, among them Patrick Grady, Chris Law and Gavin Newlands. Thanks all.
We are hoping to present the Big EU Passport to the All Party Committee of MPs who are looking into Brexit negotiations. We may also ask them to deliver it either to No.10 or the Brexit negotiating team. A first step was to contact my local MP Jo Swinson, who came along to our French speaking group (at Garvies, Milngavie) to hear our concerns and to find out why we value our EU Citizenship:
The people signing the passport have fallen into some of the following groups, all of whom are immediately affected if by any chance we were to lose these rights:
- Those who have lived abroad over 15 years eg Pauleen Bang from Denmark who wishes to sign the passport. She received no vote in the EU Referendum. To apply for Danish citizenship takes over 2 years. Also my school friend as I said above was in this same situation.
- Those who work as contractors abroad in the EU. Michael signed the passport. He has contracted in IT on and off all his career. He was telling me how you get plane loads of people heading out with him each week to go to Gothenburg, Germany, Belgium etc. These people live in the UK and are presumably not counted in the "1 million UK in the EU" group, yet are very much affected as they need easy access to work across Europe.
- Other people signing have grown up children who live in Europe or have cousins who live there. One lady has a sister who lives there and her sister has married a French man and they have kids and all live happily in France ! Are all these families now to have barriers between them which weren't there before ? What if elderly parents want to move to be nearer their kids? Or a young person wants to live near their cousins?
- Have a history where their family had fled war in Europe and settled in the UK. They have grown up with strong connections with Europe.
- Young folk who have made career choices in engineering and science or in languages and European Law who had assumed there would be free movement and our passport was something that we already possessed. They have grown up with this free movement and don't even question it. They probably don't even realise how much we could have to lose.
The passport is now full of signatures, so I have contacted the Dept for Exiting the EU via their online Contact form to see if I can deliver in person or how to post it ...
Further update - the Giant EU Passport appeared on 12-14 July at the International Conference of Europeanists in Glasgow with the European Movement in Scotland.
Arrangements will then be made to present it in London at the Dept for Exiting the EU and/or All Party Committee of MPs.
WANT TO JOIN IN THE PASSPORT CAMPAIGN ? - Here is how to make one
Relevant Petitions :
- Think Again Petition - linked to Big EU Passport Campaign (European Movement in Scotland)
- European Citizens' Initiative - https://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/31/public/#/
Associated News / Articles:
- 21/07/17 - Words Fail Me ... we were all in the same boat until now... https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jul/20/britons-living-in-europe-could-lose-right-to-live-in-another-eu-country
- 14/07/17 - I am just listening to Dr Derrick Binns, Secretary of Bermuda on BBC Parliament Channel on TV saying about the huge loss that not having a UK passport with ability to move throughout the EU would be, particularly for their young people (Brexit Committee House of Lords) - same from Orlando Smith of British Virgin Islands. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08zp3wc) - Also the problems of the fact that many of the islands interconnect with for example French territories and share using hospitals and ports etc. If Freedom of Movement is lost these things could become very tricky and patients might have had to be transferred to the UK.
- Tourist visa / Schengen Visa - 2 weeks delay to get these at least - https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/tourist-schengen-visa/
- British Citizenship for Sale - https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/04/golden-visa-immigration-deal-british-citizenship-home-office
- "Sky Views: I feel guilty over my new passport - John Sparks" http://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-i-feel-guilty-over-my-new-passport-10947856 (This article is so true and just shows how much those of us who do not have Irish parents etc are left stuck in the UK with no options yet we have been brought up as EU citizens with all those freedoms - we need protected !)