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British in Europe

British in Europe: Important Announcement

The Future of British in Europe

At British in Europe we are extremely proud of our achievements since we formed after the referendum. Over this time we have managed to build a coalition of British citizens across the EEA, EFTA and Switzerland, and we have given them a voice at the highest levels of UK Government and EU institutions. We ensured that key rights were enshrined in the Withdrawal AgreementWithdrawal Agreement The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.   If you are resident in Austria at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Austria.   Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations.   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration   (WAWithdrawal Agreement The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.   If you are resident in Austria at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Austria.   Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations.   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration  ) and have won notable battles along the way such as £3 million in funding for the UK NSFs as well as grace periods for both returning UK citizens and their family members and home fees for UKinEU wishing to study in the UK.

However, those following our progress will know that key members of our Steering Team have had to step down this year and what little funding we received has all but dried up. We have searched for large-scale funding, as opposed to limited project funding, with minimal success, because while our work is appreciated and respected, the rights of British citizens in the EU are not seen as a priority when placed alongside issues such as refugees or climate change. Our regular appeals to supporters have brought in fewer and fewer donations, so we are now running on empty. We are also all exhausted, our families feel they have been abandoned, and our day jobs have been ignored for too long.

And so, it is with heavy hearts that we announce that we will be winding down the British in Europe organisation from the end of October (although certain national British in Europe groups including groups in countries with large UKinEU populations will continue independently). We would like to thank all of our dedicated country admins for their amazing work. We will continue to advocate on specific issues that we are already working on, such as Right of Return and the Elections Bill until the end of 2021 but we will not be able to take on new actions post that date. We believe that a role exists for an independent group that is representative of the British diaspora in Europe as a whole to provide a voice for them as we have done until now; unfortunately, it cannot be us going forward.

THE BRITISH IN EUROPE STEERING TEAM

17 SEPTEMBER 2021

Note: British in Austria will continue to exist in its own right. We would like to go on record to thank British in Europe and in particular its Steering Team for all their work on behalf of Britons throughout Europe.

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