29 March 2019 preparations
Since June 2016 I have worked with British in Europe on lobbying campaigns directed at MPs and MEPs, then joined Bremain in Spain the British group in Spain committed to British citizens’ rights (which you are strongly recommended to join if you are a UK resident in Spain); and also a member of the UK armed forces group Veterans for Europe where I was for a time coordinating the group Twitter account. In these last days before Brexit, I have returned to letter-writing, lobbying mainly MEPs and trying to find out what Spanish MEPs can do to help represent us in the European Parliament (now that many of us have no vote at all, neither in UK nor here).
We are now at the point where – approaching 29 March 2019 – there is still complete confusion as to how this will end. But there are things that we can do to prepare.
I also support European Citizens’ Initiative formed from residents of Ireland, France, Belgium, Greece, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom who have come together in an effort to protect the current and future citizenship rights of all European citizens. This is to ensure that citizens’ rights, once gained, cannot be removed. The initiative is also a strong counter-movement to the far-right, which has made significant gains in all 28 countries of Europe. In this sense, the fight for citizens’ rights and the fight against Brexit are seen very much as part of a Europe-wide anti-fascist struggle.
For many people I know, the complicated politics is very boring and I do not want to say much more about this here. We need to focus on simple practical things that need to be done. British residents in Spain need practical help to prepare for a variety of scenarios that could severely damage the citizens’ rights and the financial security they currently enjoy, and the politics that gave us this sorry mess is of no interest.
If we cannot stop Brexit, then a whole new phase begins, of helping provide British residents, with solid advice about their rights and how to ensure continued services like health care.
There is no doubt that some people – particularly in the health insurance and financial sectors (e.g. private pensions) will use this time of anxiety to sell products to worried Brits here in Spain. It is already happening.
The sensible thing to do is to make yourself aware of the official sources of information and updates, which I shall be doing myself and as I find useful information, I will be putting it here. Start with the Index to Resources Page