An open letter to Michel Barnier

Dear Msr. Barnier,

Like me, you were born in 1951, a very few years after the Second World War.  The Europe in which we grew up was a new construction rising from the devastation of the war, and neither you nor I have had to fight a war in Europe; thank God.

Throughout the 1950s long and complicated trade agreements were gradually put in place, and these are the basis on which our economic success now depends: you and I have benefited from this equally.  When the UK joined the EEC we were part of a wider economic, social and cultural vision, and we all made our plans based on these new opportunities.

Many years went by.  We are now in our sixties. You ended up as the Chief Negotiator for the European Union in the forthcoming exchanges with the United Kingdom. I ended up as a teacher of Geography in a British School in La Nucia, Spain, living on a farm with four donkeys and two chickens, enjoying my right as a European to make my life where I please.

Now after the nightmare of Brexit (arguably produced by the most outrageous assault on democracy ever mounted) you continue as a European, but I am to be thrown out of Europe.

I’m sorry but I cannot see how this is different from the way that minorities had their rights removed in the 1930s, in the period before the great cataclysm and devastastion that made the European Union such a universally acclaimed project.  You cannot allow our rights as European Citizens to be removed.

Msr. Barnier, I appeal to you to explore the possibility that we British citizens who live, work, and have our whole existence in Europe, should be allowed to continue as European citizens, with a European Passport, regardless of the idiocy of the decisions of a misled section of United Kingdom voters and the populist ambitions of a narrow British political elite.  They do not speak for us.

It has already been proposed that we Britains in Europe should have the option to take a European Passport.  How much this is part of your thinking, I do not know.  But having seen how keen you are to regard the human issues in respect of the Irish border, as much as the political and economic issues, I am sure you will see that we also deserve your complete support just as much as the Irish.

We Britons living in Europe want to continue living here as Europeans.  Give us the right to a continued EU passport.

Personally, I have more respect for your measured pronouncements than those of the increasingly hysterical representatives of the British Government.  I regard Brussels as the guarantor of our Citizens’ rights, not London.

Many thanks,

Gareth Thomas

2 thoughts on “An open letter to Michel Barnier

  1. I hope this isn’t a silly question (and here in Australia we are a long way from the action): how easy is it for you to get a visa to live in Spain, or even to apply for Spanish citizenship? Would you want to go down that route?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Margaret and thanks for your comment.

    I have spent about fourteen years of my life in Spain – on and off throughout my life – but a continuous ten year period is the prerequisite for any application for a Spanish passport. Since I have only been here seven years on this occasion, although I have permanent residency here I must wait another three years before applying for Spanish citizenship rights. Many British ex-pats are doing this, especially those who have retired here.

    I shall have no hesitation in getting a Spanish passport, and to be honest I don’t even want to retain a British passport if my Spanish application is successful. Like many other British people I feel essentially a European and I totally resent having my European citizenship thrown into question by a bunch of selfish British morons who have lied and twisted voters in a scandalous British referendum that will go down in history as the cause of the ruin of the British economy and the diminution of Britain’s influence in Europe, its biggest export market. If it is a choice of being British OR European, I no longer care to be British.

    Anyone who is looking for further advice on Citizens´Rights in the present situation is advised to go to the ECREU site or Facebook pages:

    Web site:

    Liked by 1 person

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