A NUMBER of British citizens, especially those with links to European Union members are worried about their future ability to live, work and travel within the EU once Britain has left, possibly as early as 2019.
They are therefore encouraging those who want to keep access to the EU member states open to consider signing a petition to the European Commission requesting that it considers the granting of EU passports to those who want them.
The European Union citizens’ initiatives allow for pressure groups to request a debate on different proposed courses of action, but any petition does require one million signatures from those individuals who meet voting criteria with the proviso that signatures come from at least 25 per cent (seven) of the countries in the Union.
Whilst the EU is not a country and therefore cannot bestow citizenship, it does have the possibility to issue EU passports which it does for some diplomats and EU officials and it is the argument of those behind the petition that this could be extended to protect British citizens.
One week into the campaign, the petition which can be viewed at http://choosefreedom.eu/ had attracted less than 12,000 signatures but organisers believe that even if they fail in their bid, they will have succeeded by drawing the attention of the Commission and Parliament to the wish of the many who don’t want to cut their ties with the EU.
The recently appointed EU chief Brexit negotiator and former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has already indicated that he may be in favour of some form of “associate citizenship” for British passport holders, but it is debatable whether it would be possible to implement this.