Democracy enshrines the right to a vote. No one should have their future decided by a limited electorate in which they have no representation. However, this is what happened to around 5million people in June 2016. In effect, this number would have increased the referendum electorate by more than 10%.
Most people are aware of the 3.7m EU citizens living and working in the UK, contributing to the economy and society. Yet they were denied a vote. Fewer are aware of the approximately 1.2m UK citizens who have lived and worked in the EU27 for fifteen years or more, most of whom were also denied a vote.
The divisive vote to leave the EU is causing widespread uncertainty and distress, not least for the disenfranchised 5 million. There was never an advertised destination for ‘leave’. There was no plan. Leave campaigners could not agree – nor even knew – what the plan should be. Almost unanimously, a year and a half later, forecasts spell out detrimental scenarios for the UK leaving the EU. Eighteen months on and there is no clarity, other than the fact that these people are being used by this government as bargaining chips. Their lives should not be up for negotiation.
Who we are
We are an autonomous group fighting for the protection of the rights and freedoms of all those who have been disenfranchised. We will also collaborate with other groups fighting for common causes, including protecting the rights of the 3.7m EU citizens in the UK, in addition to other groups fighting to stop Brexit altogether.
Our lives have been left in disarray by the referendum result, yet we have been silenced and ignored.
Our aim is to stop Brexit and to keep the UK in the European Union by democratic means, either through
- a meaningful vote in Parliament or
- a Final Say For All in a second referendum, with an option to remain in the EU if the ‘deal’ is rejected, which must include both EU27 citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU27
Who we seek to represent.
UK citizens living and working in the EU have been ignored, and it is their stories which need to be heard. Many are people who served their country their entire working lives, some in the armed forces, whilst others are still working for the UK. Many pay taxes in the UK. There are also those who made use of their right to Freedom of Movement to live, work, and form families across the EU. They pay the taxes that come with that right. These people have been denied a vote in a matter that directly affects their whole lives.
If Brexit goes ahead, loss of Freedom of Movement means that many UK citizens in the EU are faced with the following stark predicaments, which are not mutually exclusive:
- involuntary exile from their own country
- relinquishing UK citizenship to continue living in the EU
- inability to return to the UK with, for example, disabled spouses
- separation from loved ones and family
- inability to continue their work or businesses
Our campaigning activities
For us, Brexit is not about money and trade agreements: it’s about people. It is personal. We are collecting individual personal impact stories from UK citizens in the EU to publish on our blog, and to film and broadcast across social and traditional media.
We also plan to hold organised events in the UK to make people aware of the human impact of Brexit, and to make the positive case for staying in the EU.
However, all of this costs money. We know that money is tight. It certainly is for us, especially as we have been self-funding our efforts up to now. If you can help us, even in just a small way, please do. We really believe that we can make a difference.
We can be silent no longer. Please help to give us our voice back.