W sobotę 20 października weźmiemy udział w londyńskim marszu na rzecz People’s Vote – drugiego referendum. Dołączymy do innych protestujących przeciwko działaniom rządu, głuchego na naukowe argumenty i zmieniającą się opinię brytyjskich podatników.
Z czasem pojawia się coraz więcej dowodów na to, że Brexit to zły pomysł. Nastąpiła ogromna zmiana od “milionów funtów na służbę zdrowia” do rosnących kosztów utrzymania choćby status quo. Razem z mnóstwem innych ludzi, domagamy się drugiego referendum, w którym do wyboru będą realne opcje, a nie obietnice be pokrycia.
Zbieramy się w pobliżu stacji Green Park w południe 20 października (na mapie to miejsce oznaczone znakiem zapytania). Maszerujemy do Parliament Square. Przynosimy flagi i transparenty. Do zobaczenia!
On Saturday 20 October we will be marching in London for People’s Vote – a second referendum. We will join others, protesting against the actions of the government, deaf to the scientific arguments and a changing view of the UK tax payers.
As time goes by, more and more evidence that Brexit is a bad idea sees the light of day. There has been a huge shift from “millions of pounds for the NHS” to the increasing cost of maintaining the status quo. Along with so many others, we demand a second referendum, where we choose between facts, not empty promises.
We are gathering near Green Park Station at noon, October 20 (on the map our meeting place has a question mark). We’ll march to Parliament Square. Bring your flags and placards. See you there!
It has been a year since the British parliament refused *again* to unilaterally guarantee EU citizens’ rights, which was, among others, the starting point for this site. Brexit seems more of a mess than ever and the citizens’ rights for Europeans in the UK and the Brits in the EU still have not been guaranteed.
Along with much of the world, we have been closely following the advancing negotiations between the British government and the EU27. There has been progress, however a looming chance of a “no deal” path puts the painstakingly negotiated rights proposal at risk. The government has lost its majority, following a snap election earlier this year, the ministers are regularly seen fighting with each other rather than securing “the best possible deal”, few politicians seem to take into consideration repeated warnings on the serious harm Brexit will cause to the country, stubbornly sticking with the slim referendum majority rather than common sense.
Us, Poles, are in a uniquely disadvantaged position. In the UK we have no guarantees of any rights if we want to stay; the legal process of obtaining proof of permanent residency has been stalled by the sheer number of applications to the Home Office. Right now all we can do is sit and wait. Should we want to go back to Poland, we will be greeted by an even more unstable political situation, potential violations of our human rights and a risk of higher taxes in our first year. To say we are between a rock and a hard place seems an understatement.
Perhaps this is why the seemingly surprising news is that in spite of the Brexit instability, the number of Poles in the UK has risen. Against earlier predictions and many migrants deciding to leave uncertainty behind, there are more of us in the UK than ever before.
- Population of the UK by country of birth https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/bulletins/ukpopulationbycountryofbirthandnationality/2016
- Milion Polaków w Wielkiej Brytanii http://www.prawica.net/comment/106460
- The comparison of EU/UK positions on citizens’ rights https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-technical-note-on-the-comparison-of-eu-uk-positions-on-citizens-rights
- Ostatnia próba przełamania impasu http://londynek.net/wiadomosci/Ostatnia+proba+przelamania+impasu+ws.+Brexitu+przed+szczytem+wiadomosci+news,/wiadomosci/article?jdnews_id=47385
After a series of ping-pong sessions in the Parliament, arguing whether or not to guarantee EU citizens’ rights in the UK, the result is the one for the worse. Not only is there no guarantee, but also no meaningful vote for the end of negotiations, when the Parliament would be able to accept the changes for the country.
Right now it is difficult to say anything new. We will continue to work towards the guarantees and against discrimination, and we will need your help. Brace yourselves for action, our case isn’t over – far from it. Brexit is not the beginning of the end, we are merely approaching the end of its beginning.
There is little more important for us happening right now than the Westminster preparing for the final vote on the article 50 bill.
The ruling Conservative party is pressing on with passing the bill, in spite of a rather grim outlook for the economy and lengthy and complex negotiations, the results of which are much out of their hands.
Stephen Crabb, a former work and pension secretary, urged PM to rework system as there is nothing to suggest a reduction of migrants is achievable or desirable.
“For many, a vote for Brexit was indeed a vote to take back control and return to Westminster the full tools to cut immigration,” Crabb said in a article for the Guardian.
“The problem is that, set against the popular expectation that Brexit means cutting immigration, there is nothing on the horizon to suggest that achieving any significant reduction is achievable or even desirable.”
Meanwhile, Labour have prepared a large number of amendments on topics ranging from EU citizens to second referendums. Last week Dawn Butler, Rachel Maskell, and Jo Stevens came out of the shadow cabinet in order to vote against the bill on its second reading, and other MPs have said they will vote against it on its third reading if Labour amendments are not accepted – a stand also supported by the TSSA union boss Manuel Cortes, one of the major Corbyn backers.
The LibDems have opened a well-timed petition, urging the Parliament to guarantee the right to stay for the EU citizens http://www.libdems.org.uk/right-to-stay.
Please sign and keep your fingers crossed for a possibly little-damaging outcome.
The Supreme Court has spoken: article 50 can only be triggered after a parliamentary approval, and the prime minister cannot start the procedure without the majority’s support.
In the coming weeks, we are likely to witness one of the most spectacular political debates, speculations and announcements in a decade. Now that the rules are clear and players are set, we can only appeal to their consciences.
What started with a referendum and its near-drawn result has since evolved into a one of a kind situation. The government insists on imposing drastic changes to the country.
Those who voted to leave the European Union vary in their views – most believed the UK would stay in the single market, as campaigners on both sides repeatedly assured us, some wanted to help the NHS with money that doesn’t exist, others thought that reversing trade agreements to the 1970s will cure the country of all modern evils and in a way bring back the times of their youth.
Amazingly, Theresa May not only refuses to acknowledge that the referendum results are not a simple “let’s get out”, as those who wanted to improve the NHS will not be heard, but also insists on leaving the single market – an option that the pro-Brexit campaign did not dare to even mention.
It is now up to the Parliament to straighten what the populists and the mislead public twisted. Joining the EU enabled the UK to thrive, and we cannot allow leaving it to negatively affect lives of anyone who has since helped build this country.
Today’s speech by Theresa May clarified one thing: UK government is aiming for a hard Brexit. The four freedoms of the EU will soon become a thing of the past here and today’s British PM went a long way to assure her audience that the future is bright. Or is it?
Prior to the June referendum, Vote Leave insisted time and time again that there is no intention to leave the single market. Today we heard that the UK prefers control over freedom, national interest over that of the continent and it dreams big of conquering the world – after it lost its colonies and now is losing 27 closest neighbours and allies.
In a promise-rich and well-rehearsed show there seems to be something for everyone. What isn’t there but will inevitably happen, is the prospect of an effectively poorer middle and working class, limited options for students and an increasingly hostile environment for minorities. This cannot end well.
Now that the turmoil of December festivities have passed, we finally have a moment to catch a breath and take a look at the events of the past two weeks.
In short, we have not received the guarantees – a gift we were hoping for so much, even though we well deserved it. While hearing cheerful wishes of peace and love all around, we tried to suppress our ever-present uncertainty and upset.
But the world wasn’t standing still. Today Ivan Rogers (https://yhoo.it/2iwpvtE), the British Ambassador to the EU resigned, causing a stir not only at 10 Downing Street, but pretty much nationwide. He had angered Eurosceptics in December when it emerged he had told ministers it could take 10 years to negotiate a free-trade deal with the EU and yet opinions that UK lost invaluable EU insight seemed frequent.
In other stories, Mrs May is considering giving up on the European convention of human rights. According to Charles Falconer, “it will be green light for despots and a disaster for ordinary people” (http://bit.ly/2hN3B1p). Also a prominent Northern Irish politician says Theresa May will ‘very likely’ face court challenge to block human rights law reforms, amid local anger at potential breach of Northern Irish peace treaty (http://ind.pn/2hR4oiH).
Meanwhile, another territory, the Orkney Islands threatened seeking independence from both UK and Scotland if Brexit is to pull them out of the EU (https://yhoo.it/2hPhK16).
On a more personal level, we heard the shocking news of the Home Office rejecting permanent residency applications of even those who have nowhere to “go back” to, having spent most of their adult life in the UK: the heart-breaking story of a Dutch woman, told to leave after 24 years on the Isles, with British kids and husband (http://bit.ly/2hxnpJe), followed by that of a German neuroscientist (http://bit.ly/2iwvBdv), whose application for residency was also rejected.
This has raised serious doubts of all Europeans who may not have a British spouse or an impressive scientific career. If those who seem most rooted, desired or ‘entitled’ to stay are rejected, what chances do the ordinary people have? As the Guardian reminds us in the latter story, under current rules, EU/EEA nationals automatically gain permanent residence after five years, provided certain criteria are met. “The PR document I applied for doesn’t give me permanent residence rights, it simply confirms them. So it really should be a formality. But the Home Office seems to want to make it excessively difficult for people”.
What we can do now is perhaps sit and wait for the Supreme Court, whose verdict is due later this month. This in turn will determine the way in which a Brexit-triggering decision will need to be legally taken, and is likely to shed more light on our still uncertain future.
The continuing informal voices from ordinary citizens regarding guarantees of the right to remain were strongly echoed and supported with official pressure this week.
The British Future think tank published its report, concluding that EU nationals already living in the UK at the point when Article 50 is triggered should be guaranteed the right to settle here permanently. The Inquiry’s report calls on the Government to make a clear public commitment that the 2.8 million Europeans in the UK can stay, and should be offered permanent residence with the same health, social and educational rights as British citizens.
After Article 50 is triggered, EU citizens could still move to the UK under free movement rules until we leave the EU – but their post-Brexit status would be dependent on whatever future arrangements the UK negotiates with the EU.
The Inquiry panel included voices from Leave and Remain, different political parties and from business and trade unions and was chaired by Gisela Stuart MP, former Chair of the Vote Leave campaign. Its remit was to examine how the Government can protect the rights of the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit and to make practical recommendations as to how to do this, starting from the premise that this is the right thing to do.
The Inquiry’s report also recommends major changes to the application process for permanent residence, which, it says, is onerous for the applicant and risks overwhelming the Home Office with one of the biggest single administrative tasks it has ever undertaken. At the 2015 rate of processing it would take 150 years to process the applications of all EU nationals currently in the UK.
In a separate grassroot initiative, forty Polish community leaders called on MPs to guarantee EU citizens their acquired rights after Brexit in a self-funded ad in in @theHouse_mag
They said the guarantee would be in the best interest of the United Kingdom and discourage further intimidation of migrant communities and hate crime, which has hit the record levels following the June referendum. In a strongly worded message, the community leaders wrote that a denial of such guarantees would be seen as betrayal of trust of the people who were encouraged to come to the UK, made Britain their home and contributed hugely to the economy.
Meanwhile, an upcoming legal challenge was announced to submit the Brexit processes review in the Irish High Court – a refreshing and most welcome reminder that there is more than one nation in this country, run by more than one capital’s powers.
There is also a new suggestion that the June 23 referendum result may have been influenced by foreign powers. A Labour MP has claimed that it is “highly probable” that Vladimir Putin’s Russia interfered in the UK’s Brexit vote.
Ben Bradshaw said Moscow’s likely interference in the vote would fit a pattern of meddling in other nations’ affairs, following the CIA’s accusation that Russian hackers tried to influence the recent US elections: “I don’t think we have even begun to wake up to what Russia is doing when it comes to cyber warfare. Not only their interference, now proven, in the American presidential campaign, [but] probably in our referendum last year. We don’t have the evidence for that yet. But I think it’s highly probable.” Even though denied by Downing Street, the idea certainly raises further questions and begs for an investigation and we will keep you posted.
Finally, today’s Guardian reports on Helena Kennedy QC suggestions for collecting together bills, rental or home ownership documents, employment paperwork, or evidence of appointments for those who do not have jobs. She chairs a Lords EU subcommittee that has just completed an investigation into the “acquired rights” of Europeans in the UK and Britons living in continental Europe. She warned of deep anxiety among EU citizens in the UK but also British nationals living on the continent.
After hearing from a series of experts, ambassadors from across Europe and Britons living overseas, the group will on Wednesday call for a unilateral undertaking to immediately guarantee to safeguard the rights of all EU nationals in the UK. Saying that Theresa May has a “heavy moral obligation” to make the first move, it also warns:
- Question marks over the rights of EU nationals to live in the UK “may be fuelling xenophobic sentiment”, as suggested by the Bulgarian ambassador.
- People living in the UK for more than five years may not be eligible for permanent residency because of the little-known requirement for students and non-workers to have private healthcare.
- Uncertainty is making Britain a less attractive destination, which could widen gaps in key parts of the labour market, including medical and financial services.
Whatever we may think of each of the individual developments mentioned above, we must agree that they show a strong tendency for undermining the official line of the PM and her government, on the basis of ethical, legal and human rights standpoint and research. We remain optimistic that we won’t be forced out of our homes and will continue to contribute to our chosen home country.
https://waitingfortax.com/2016/12/09/new-brexit-challenge-in-the-irish-high-court/ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/russian-interference-brexit-highly-probable-referendum-hacking-putin-a7472706.html https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/14/eu-citizens-collect-proof-of-living-in-uk-helena-kenney-qc-lords-brexit-reports
This week may be one of the most important ones for our situation since the referendum in June. Not only is the Supreme Court hearing the government’s appeal against the High court judgement, but also the Home Secretary Amber Rudd revealed her plans for those EU citizens who are currently living in the UK.
A historic Supreme Court case, in which all eleven judges are considering the government’s appeal regarding the use of the royal prerogative, will continue until Thursday and we will hear the verdict in January next year. If the government loses its appeal, it may file another one, ironically in the European Court of Justice, or alternatively accept that the whole Parliament will have a say on what happens with Brexit from now on, which is likely to slow down the process or might even stop it altogether.
In the meantime, during Home Office questions in the Commons, Ms Rudd said: “There will be a need to have some sort of documentation … but we are not going to set it out yet.
“We are going to do it in a phased approach, to ensure that we use all the technology advantages that we are increasingly able to harness, to ensure that all immigration is carefully handled.”
The opponents of the idea point to the high cost of the move, an estimated £100m, and the LibDems suggested the idea would require extra 3,000 Home Office staff.
The news comes after the latest migration figures showed that almost 100,000 EU citizens living in the UK have applied to the Home Office to secure their status in Britain. The surge in applications has meant that a backlog is rapidly building up in a system, which currently processes only 25,500 permanent residence applications a year.
Ms Rudd’s remarks suggest that once verified and documented, the EU citizens will be allowed to remain in the UK.
Yesterday, outside 10 Downing Street, a group of determined people stood in the cold with a mission: to deliver a message to their prime ministers. About to begin was a meeting of two PMs, Polish and British, and some of their cabinet members, with security and xenophobia on the agenda. Poland’s mission was to gain assurances of support in the face of recent mood in Kremlin, Britain’s to find an ally at the Brexit talks table.
Under the logo of A Million, that group of dedicated citizens, representing a number of organisations, living in the UK but still caring about their country of origin, stood patiently to get their chance to tell the national leaders that they are people, not bargaining chips. After Beata Szydlo had offered David Cameron to exchange certain rights of Poles in the UK for favours, the Polish immigrants’ confidence in her is low, and at this nerve wrecking period of uncertainty, it was particularly important for them to have a say.
The BBC News reported on the events of the day, giving a commentary on preparations to the politicians’ arrival and zooming in on the protesters’ banners. Across the road, a smaller group waved Polish flags but were ignored by the journalists and at the crucial moment of the officials’ arrival invisible to the VIPs too, their view blocked by a lorry. As it happened, A Million’s group were the only ones to remind the two governments about the duty to serve their nations.
Hailed as a successful event, a bilateral summit of Polish and British prime ministers and their cabinets, brought about little new. The 150 British troops to help protect Poland-Russia border had been promised before. There was general talk of business and education. Neither side agreed to definitely guarantee migrants’ rights on their respective territories. In spite of the Downing Street talk of “an excellent and historic first summit,” there is still work ahead of us.