Reading the replies to this tweet shows the damage done by bad journalism over the past days. 🧵

1) we do not call ourselves 'expats', that is a loaded term designed to divide us from EU citizens in the UK. We refer to ourselves as British nationals living in the EU/EEA/CH...
which is commonly shortened to UKinEU.

2) There are two groups of people:

a) those who were legally resident before the end of 2020 and are covered by the WA

b) those that weren't and aren't covered. There are many reasons for why they have chosen not to apply for residency
ranging from visitors staying a few weeks or longer to those who are/were attempting to live under the radar.

3) Under Schengen rules, Brits like other Third Country Nationals (TCNs) can only spend 90 of any 180 days in Schengen.
Being generous and suggesting that the Brits in group b) arrived on 31 Dec 2020 means that they needed to leave the Schengen zone by the 31st March, when the misinformed articles began.

This is not down to lack of income...
or refusal of healthcare - in the vast majority of cases it is
i) because their residency is elsewhere so they are visitors, or
ii) they chose not to apply.

It is not the EU being mean, nor is it UKinEU being too late, too underprepared, too disorganised to apply.
To conflate these two groups is to do a disservice to the many UKinEU who are legally resident and doing their best to adapt to circumstances that the majority had no say in. 60% of us do not have a vote.
To make sweeping generalisations about age groups, language abilities, voting intentions etc. is just playing into stereotypes. 80% of us are working age and under and those of us who are retired have every right to be here and broke no laws becoming legally resident here.
But all is not rosy. Given covid, countries are struggling to free resource and systems to process applications (where they are needed). Older computer systems struggle with a new class of residents who are neither EU citizens or third country nationals (TCNs) but are 'TCN WA'.
This is bringing stress and disruption to the lives of the individuals it affects and we need to shine a light on these challenges to get them fixed as quickly as possible. We need to ensure that every admin clerk in every town understands our rights so healthcare / benefits /
uni grants etc are not stopped or jobs refused for something that we do not need to have or cannot provide.
We live across 27 different countries, each with its different processes and systems. It is highly complex.
So we ask simply that journalists and presenters do their jobs right and CHECK their facts before trying to create division. We understand that some want the divide and will make up the stories so we can't stop them. We can only ask that you don't share them.
Thank you.

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More from @BritishInEurope

28 Mar
The trouble with just quoting the one person who is seen to have shot themselves in the foot is that the remaining 1.2million of us become tarred with the same brush. For 4yrs we have fought the lazy stereotyping and sweeping generalisations; 80% of us are working age or younger,
over 60% of us couldn't even vote in the referendum.

Of those that could vote, some postal votes were lost. There were no exit polls - those that could vote, voted in their last UK constituency.

There is no way to tell how UKinEU voted. Surveys say vast majority voted remain.
So mocking one person who is reported to have voted leave allows others to reinforce the sweeping generalisations and stereotypes we've fought hard to destroy.

There will be many more stories over coming months as we hit deadlines and lives are uprooted.
Read 7 tweets
26 Mar
Co-Chair @fjgodfrey and @the3million's @Pipermigration are speaking at a fringe event tomorrow. Register to listen at 12.05 - 12.55 UK time.

Negotiating citizens' rights with the UK and EU.
Lessons learned and what that means for the future
EU-UK relationship.
ABSTRACT: British in Europe was formed in 2016 in response to the EU referendum and out of an earlier organisation created to win back voting rights for UK citizens abroad. From March 2017, BiE and the3million engaged in an active advocacy campaign in Brussels, ...
EU member state capitals and Westminster in an effort to secure our EU citizenship rights in the Withdrawal Agreement.
Read 5 tweets
23 Sep 20
When we moved to the EU/EEA we did so expecting to keep our rights for life and, if necessary, to return to the UK with our non-UK families. The UK Immigration Bill currently passing through Westminster removes this right.


From March 2022 our non-UK family members will come under the tough British immigration rules, meaning that we will have to be earning £18,600 a year and our partner's income will only count if s/he has been earning in the UK for more than six months.
With the bill reaching report stage in the House of Lords on 30 Sept, we would like peers to vote for the amendment that opposition parties have agreed to put forward for BiE. It has taken a huge amount of effort to get here and we do not want our amendment to fail at this stage.
Read 5 tweets
10 Sep 20
The shallowness of the Government’s removal of the right of #UKinEU to return with EU families was laid bare in yesterday’s debate on the Immigration Bill.

The Minister stated that if the amendment British in Europe pushed for were passed “these family members would thereby continue indefinitely to bypass the Immigration Rules.”
So let’s get this straight: you are taking away rights from your citizens and when they want them back, you accuse them of trying to bypass the rules!
Read 6 tweets
10 Aug 20
A necessary thread as the end of transition draws ever closer and we see immigration 'advice' being shared across social media. How we at BiE can (and, equally as important, how we can't) help individual British citizens living in the EU. Image
British in Europe can explain your rights and the law from which they derive in general terms, pointing you towards information that is relevant for you and helping you to understand what it says. Image
What we can't and won't do is give you specific personal advice - we can't apply that law to your own personal situation or make recommendations about what course of action you should take. Only an immigration lawyer can do that. Image
Read 9 tweets
7 Aug 20
SOME British citizens - there are hoops to jump through, additional conditions to meet, and this will not apply to all British citizens.
British in Europe were indeed very pleased to be invited to the meeting of the Special Committee and hope it will be a standing invitation.
We did receive good news on combining our Withdrawal Agreement status with other EU immigration statuses. SOME UK citizens get the right to apply for EU long-term residence and blue cards, which give third-country nationals further limited mobility rights.
Read 4 tweets

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