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Pensioners Debout! September/October 2016 Newsletter

by Brian Cave

1. ECREU – www.ecreu.com

The organisation of the ECREU campaign is under way. A small group of us have signed the necessary papers which under French Law enable it to be an official association.   ECREU has over 3,000 members at the moment –  There is a ‘steering committee’ of six people which includes members from Berlin to Spain.

In future I will tend to send fewer mails as from ‘Pensioners Debout’.

Material sent to ECREU members may well duplicate some of this – The ECREU lists are longer than mine.

It is wise to join ECREU  to be kept informed. There is no member’s fee.  And please encourage others to join.

ECREU has welcomed contact with the organisation called ‘3 Million.org’ which is set up by the EU nationals living in the UK who are equally concerned about Brexit.

ECREU’s concern is the well-being of the British citizens across the EU States, but clearly the reverse case of the EU nationals in the UK is a parallel concern.  Whether Brexit eventually comes about or not, these concerns remain.

The only political party whose strong policy is to retain close bonds inside the EU is the Liberal Democrat Party.  Their information is viewable here http://uklibdems.eu/en/

There is no available information of a similar kind from other parties.

Meanwhile the campaign for Votes-For-Life continues. [www.votes-for-life.com]

This campaign was initiated by the Conservative Party in France. It is the Conservatives who promise the Votes-for Life.

In connection with that campaign, Harry Shindler (a life time supporter of the Labour Party ) writes as follows….

2. Report from Harry Shindler.

22 September  Harry had a mail from 10 Downing Street  and also from the EU Commission – Both concern ‘Votes for Life’

Downing Street (that is to say with the knowledge and blessing of Mrs May the PM) writes That a ‘Votes-for-Life Bill will be enacted in time for the next scheduled general election’  That is in time for 2020.  Harry is replying to Mrs May to the effect– why not now?

The same day he had a many paged message from the EU Commission.  This has not been seen by me; Harry is forwarding photocopies.  However, I understand that the EU will produce a ‘citizen’s charter’ this autumn which requests that all EU States should ensure that all their citizens throughout the EU will be able to vote in General elections to their National Governments.  That will also include any future referenda.

3. ITEM of the Moment 

Contacting politicians & the Conservative Party Conference

As is the main objective of ECREU – We must try to ensure that Politicians at Westminster are on our side.  Getting politicians to read any messages from citizens who have no vote is most difficult.

Ecreu committee members have written to all 42 MPs who signed the Early Day Motion EDM 259.

To view the names of these 42 go to —-

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/259

There were in this list 1 Conservative, 21 Labour, 5 Lib-Dems, 1 Green, 2 Independents, 11 SNP, and 1 Plaid Cymru.

This EDM concerns STATUS OF BRITISH CITIZENS RESIDENT IN THE EU AND EU CITIZENS RESIDENT IN THE UK

The following peers have also been contacted Lexden (C) – Tyler (LD) & Kinnock (L)

& also these extra MPs.  Sir Roger Gale (C), , Barry Sheerman (L), Chris Bryant (L), Tom Sheppard (SNP),  Oliver Letwin (C).

We have the following replies

From Tom Brake MP (LibDem) — I will look forward to working with you on the issue of UK citizens in other EU countries.   I was very interested to see the statistics you have collated.

From Lord Paul Tyler (LibDem) — I was delighted to hear from you, and very much appreciate all your timely advice and comprehensive data on this issue………(he continues on the subject of the vote)  ….Put yourself in the shoes of the individual Constituency MP;  faced with the problems, concerns and special interests of some 75,000 constituents on his or her doorstep how many will give appropriate attention to a few dozen potential voters, with perhaps very different interests, living many hundreds of miles away ?    I had 87,000 eligible electors in my North Cornwall constituency:  l have to confess that I was never even aware of the number of expatriates registered on our electoral roll.  This is why the Commons will be reluctant to simply remove the 15 year limit.

From Oliver Letwin MP (cons) —I am convinced that the Government will focus heavily on the situation of ex-pat UK citizens living in the EU as part of the Brexit negotiations……   So, …I will certainly speak up if there is any sign of UK citizens in the EU being disadvantaged as a result of Brexit.

Members of the Conservative Party are being lobbied as the Conservative Party Conference begins.  Those who can make contact with a Conservative MP could help. If you want an idea of a draft mail please contact me.

YOU can contact MPs or Peers by finding their email addresses in the link below..

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

 

4.  The Winter Fuel payment.

You may have not seen this document composed by Roger Boaden

http://www.winterfuelpayment.info/

It is self explanatory.

************************************

Who are the expatriates affected? (both EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU)

A categorisation.

1.  Those who are established in the EU country in which they live, for example, working as employees or established under freedom of establishment rules as self-employed or employed professionals, (currently) benefiting from mutual recognition of qualifications under EU law.  These people are integrated into the local community, but do not hold the citizenship of the resident State, given that they have a right of free movement.  They pay local and national taxes in their country of residence, use the local health services and their children have been brought up in that country, although this will not necessarily guarantee that those children have a right to dual nationality.  In their every day lives, they are not dependent on the UK but they are dependent on their EU citizenship rights deriving from the UK’s membership of the EU e.g. free movement of workers, freedom of establishment, mutual recognition of qualifications.  They also have no voting rights in national elections in their country of residence and thus can only participate in the democratic process at national level in the UK.

[In reverse such is the situation of the vast majority of EU citizens resident in the UK. e.g EU nurses in the NHS]

2/. Those who work in more than one country, or have worked in a series of EU/other countries during their international career.

The former category may live in one country and perhaps work in that country and another: e.g. living and working between Paris and Brussels.  These people currently benefit from the principle of free movement of workers and there are special social security rules at EU level covering cross-border workers.

The position of those who have lived and worked in multiple countries is similar to category 1 but they have not stayed long term in any one country.  They are even more reliant on the rights of free movement, freedom of establishment and mutual recognition of qualifications they enjoy as EU citizens, and which derive from the UK’s membership of the EU, which have allowed them to work in a series of different EU countries.  They will have paid into the social security and health systems of each country and will have multiple national pension claims to make on retirement.  Their children will have grown up in several different countries, speaking different languages and experiencing different school systems but are less likely to have acquired citizenship rights in any of those countries than the children of those in category 1. As Category1, in their daily lives, they are not dependent on the UK but they are dependent on their EU citizenship rights deriving from the UK’s membership of the EU.  As is the case as regards Category 1,

3.  Those who are retired and depend on the implementation of Regulation 883/2004 (on co-ordination of Social Security in he EU). They are hugely dependent on their National State for their health care support and pensions income. This category is greatest for the retired British Citizens in the EU, who number more than 400,000.

In reverse the number of retired citizens receiving pensions from other EU States living in the UK is very small. As an example there are 69,000 retired British citizens receiving the UK State pension residing in France and less than 100 French retired Citizens receiving a French state pension residing in the UK. This is more extreme for Spain which has 108,000 UK State pensioners.

They have no voting rights in national elections in their country of residence and thus can only participate in the democratic process at national level in the UK. But after 15 years they have no voting rights at all at any National level.

All categories prior to a Brexit can vote in the local elections where they are resident. This applies of course also to EU nationals in the UK. But those in almost all instances have a vote and representation in their own National Government.

4.  Future generations especially of students, others, and the retired who would follow in the footsteps of the categories above.

I acknowledge the help of other members of ECREU in compiling this.

 

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