Modest proposal would allow individual Brits to retain EU citizenship

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© Ms. Jane Campbell/Shutterstock.
OLIVE BRANCH? Associate EU citizenship would allow Britons to retain freedom of movement.

WITH the world becoming increasingly globalised and yet increasingly fragmented at the same time, immigration is the theme of the day, and in Britain, the fallout from Brexit shows no signs of slowing down.

The decision of Britain to leave the European Union was a particularly divisive one, and a sore spot for many. A not-unsubstantial percentage of Remainers were unflinching in their scorn and disappointment as the votes came rolling in on June 23. Some voters, particularly young ones, argued that Brexit had stolen their futures and their right to intercontinental mobility and exploration.

Perhaps looking to counteract this discontent, the European Parliament has announced that it is considering a plan which would give British citizens the option of retaining certain EU privileges once the UK definitively bows out within the next few years. 

What a post Brexit-world would look like for Brits remains somewhat unclear, but it is highly probable that British citizens would no longer have the right to live in their country of choice within the European Union. Prime Minister Theresa May has made it clear that she wants ro restrict the movement of citizens from other EU countries to Britain, and it stands to reason that this would go both ways.  

Under the new proposal, British citizens would have the option of retaining some of the rights afforded to citizens of EU member states, including the ability to emigrate to other EU countries and even the right to vote in European Parliament elections, meaning that these ‘associate citizens’ would even have the chance to chime in when it comes to major decisions undertaken in Brussels. 

Those in favour of the proposal view it as an appropriate middle-ground between the demands of the Leave voters and the desires of the Remainers. The needs of those clamouring for an escape from the EU would be met, whereas EU devotees would still be able to cling onto key advantageous conditions. 

However, many Brexit supporters have expressed outrage at the idea, arguing that it

would essentially represent a form of discrimination against Leave voters and undermine the entire democratic process. 

Jayne Adye, director of the Get Britain Out campaign, argued that the proposal would attempt “to divide the great British public at the exact moment we need unity.”

The proposal has been submitted to a parliamentary committee and would take the form of an amendment. Amendment 882 was originally the brainchild of Charles Goerens, a liberal MEP from Luxembourg. It will first go through the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee, which will analyse the proposal and create a report that would include a series of recommendations on how to proceed. 

 

8 COMMENTS

  1. Would solve a lot of problems for all of those who moved legally to other European countries whilst the UK was a member of the EU. Through no fault of their own, they are now living in limbo, a brilliant idea which I hope goes through.

  2. This misuse of the word immigration, and emigrate continues unchecked and even supported by politicians and media. Living in an EU country outside the UK, as a UK national I am an ex-patriate, not an immigrant, and as usual resent this misinformation in the politicomedia mission creep as UK considers leaving the EU.

  3. What a wonderful idea. I’ve never understood all the avid Brexiteers living on the Costas, other than they were lied too and manipulated by nationalistic jingoism, but that’s lots of Brits for you. I’d send them all back to England and let those who saw through the con take up this proposal.

  4. I hope this goes through. Quite frankly I consider unrestricted travel around Europe to be my right.
    How dare TM and the Easily lead Brexiteers try to take that away from me.
    Mind you ….49.9% of people are by definition ‘ below average intelligence’ …….We should not be surprised.

  5. Ian, why are you an expat, not an immigrant? I was an expat in the Arabian Gulf for 12 years because I was there on a very strict annual Contract with benefits such as housing and travel. I was not allowed to leave or return without the permission of my Sponsors. In Spain, I am living indefinitely under my own financial steam because I choose to, without any present or future commitment from either Spain or me, coming or going as I please, but registered (under the EU rules) to the Padron and in process of applying for Residencia. If I had had the choice, I would not have commited to my host country while in the Gulf, but given the choice, would commit here. Very different status between Expat & Immigrant.

  6. Its a brilliant idea. I don’t understand why the leavers should be angry abut it tho. I live in spain. I want to stay here. I voted remain and this would be a way for me to remain.

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