#GreenCard4Europe Campaign - Stepping up stage 2

We are campaigning for a Green Card for Europe to be included in the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement. This is the second phase of the campaign.

£3,548 raised of £5,000 target 71 %
123 supporters 3 days left
This project is using Flexible funding and will receive all pledges made by 4:28pm 23rd June 2018

This project is using Flexible funding and will receive all pledges made by 4:28pm 23rd June 2018

EU27 citizens in the UK and Britons in the EU do not deserve to lose their rights as a result of a referendum - a referendum in which most of them had no say because they did not even have vote.

Our view is that for these citizens, nothing should change in relation to their future plans and that they should be able to carry on with their lives as normal despite the outcome of the referendum.

That is why we have been campaigning for a Green Card for Europe to be given to all those citizens whose lives have been thrown into limbo by the Brexit vote. 

We have built up a caucus of support within the European Parliament for this proposal and both the Department for Exiting the EU and M.Barnier from the European Commission have confirmed that they are aware of the proposal.

We are now starting the second phase of our campaign and asking for your renewed support.

Breakthrough moments

Two major breakthroughs have occurred in our campaign which give us hope that some good news is on the way for over 3.4 m  EU 27 citizens in the UK and 1.6m Britons in the EU.

Firstly,  just before Christmas (on 17 December to be precise)  the European Parliament passed a resolution to say that it would not sign off the Withdrawal Agreement unless and until a way can be found for Britons currently in the EU to continue to enjoy their free movement rights after the UK leaves the EU.

Secondly, just before Easter, the European Commission issued the first draft of the legal text for the Withdrawal Agreement. Within hours, it reissued the document but with Article 32 of the text, the article that refers to the free movement rights of Uk citizens in the EU removed (although references to Article 32 remained in the rest of text).

Such clumsiness is uncharacteristic of the legal department of the European Commission - it is quite clear that there had been a political intervention behind the scenes, and that the removal of freedom of movement rights from Britons in the EU (as originally foreseen by Article 32) was no longer on the table. 

Neither the European Commission nor the UK government has brought forward a proposal yet for how they will actually maintain all the rights of EU27 citizens in the UK and Britons in Europe. Discussions that are in the public domain have so far not moved beyond the issue of residency rights and 'settled status'.

What we want is a guarantee that once a British person living in another EU members state has acquired permanent residency in that state (as a result of the withdrawal treaty) then that person will also be entitled to move freely within the EU to live to work, exercise their profession, or conduct their business.

We also want a situation for EU27 citizens in the UK, where they don't face open discrimination as now from some employers and/or landlords, just because they are from another part of Europe.

 A Green Card for Europe will be a  tangible manifestation of their rightful status in Britain and will also guarantee their rights to vote in local and regional elections.

The Green Card 4 Europe Proposal

1) Register:  The European Commission should create a voluntary register of Britons with permanent residency rights in an EU member state andEU27 citizens who live in the UK.

2) Green Card: Citizens on the register will be issued with a Green Card which will guarantee their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK.

3) Rights: Green card holderswill enjoy the same rights as EU27 citizens living outside their home member state, including the right to free movement and the right to vote and to stand in local and regional elections.

4) Reciprocity: The UK will treat EU27 citizens who are Green Card holders as if Britain were still a member of the EU and EU member states will treat British Green Card holders as if they were still EU citizens.

5) Withdrawal agreement: Commitments relating to the status of Green Card holders in the UK and the EU27 member states respectively will be anchored in the Withdrawal Agreement and subject to the same arbitration procedures that relate to the Withdrawal Agreement as a whole.

6) Governance: The Register itself would be subject to EU law with all existing remedies available to individuals including through the Data Commissioner, the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the ECJ.

Progress so far

We have been building more and more support through regular engagement with the Brexit Steering Group in the European Parliament chaired by Guy Verhofstadt MEP and with Claude Moraes MEP, Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee as well as with Danuta Hübner, Chair of the Constitutional Affairs Committee.

On 1 February 2018, Roger Casale was asked to give evidence about the Green Card Proposal to a joint hearing of the Civil Liberties, Home Affairs and Justice Committee, the Employment and Social Affairs Committee and the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament.

Watch committee hearing  here

On 16 March we held a conference in London on the human rights impact of Brexit in which we highlighted the uncertainty and anxiety faced by millions of people whose lives have been thrown into limbo as a result of Britain's decision to leave the EU.

Read more here

On 28 March we presented an update on the Green Card proposal to the Citizens Rights Friendship Group in the European Parliament, a new group which we have set up with the help of Julie Ward MEP to make sure that the voice of the citizens is heard by policy-makers in Brussels and to campaign for the rights of EU27 citizens and Britons in Europe post Brexit.

See the presentation here

The BBC covered our call for a Green Card on the eve of the visit by Home Office officials to Brussels in April

Watch here

We reacted swiftly to President Juncker's call for Brits who work for the EU institutions to be given special status (something we support, but we are calling for protection of all Britons in the EU too)

Read more here

On 26 May we will be in Sofia, Bulgaria at the European Civic Forum Annual  Conference where we will again make the case for an offer by the EU to secure the rights of UK citizens in the EU and EU27 citizens by the introduction of a Green Card scheme for Europe. 

We are calling on the  EU to take action unilaterally if the UK does not agree on a reciprocal Green Card arrangement, and we are asking civil society and human rights groups across Europe to support such action by the EU in the name of guaranteeing rights and to show the international community that  the the EU is indeed a beacon of  human rights in a changing world.

In June, we will hold a joint meeting with the European Parliamentary Association in Strasbourg for a meeting on the future of European citizenship .Speakers include Elmar Brok MEP (EPP group in the European Parliament), Claude Moraes MEP (Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee) and Madeleina Kay, EU Super-Girl and Winner of the Young European of the Year Award.

With your support, we will continue to work  intensively with representatives from the Bulgarian EU presidency to secure an announcement on EU citizens rights and the rights of Britons in Europe at the EU Council meeting on 28-29 June.

It's down to you

The Green Card for Europe proposal is gaining traction within the EU institutions and there is also support for the proposal in the UK parliament.

Whether the proposal becomes a reality is down to you.

If you are a British citizen living in the EU then please take the opportunity to act now, to invest in your own future and that of your family members and back the Green Card 4 Europe proposal which would give you back your right to freedom of movement within the EU.

If you are an EU27 citizen in the UK and you care about the full package of rights that you currently enjoy in the UK (including the right to vote in local and regional elections) thanks to your EU citizenship and the fact that the UK is still an EU member state, then please back the Green Card proposal for Europe.

A Green Card for Europe would mean that for the 3.4 m EU 27 citizens in the UK and 1.6 m UK citizens in the EU, life could return to normal when (and if) Britain leaves the EU.

It's your choice - a Green Card for Europe, or an uncertain future with a life-changing loss of rights.

This is the second phase of our campaign and we now need an even stronger show of support behind our  from all those who will benefit from the introduction of the Green Card and also from all who care passionately about the future of a European Union based on fairness, solidarity and the safeguarding of rights.

Your support will mean that we can continue to campaign in Brussels, Strasbourg and London until we get the job done of securing the Green Card 4 Europe in the Withdrawal Agreement.