But will anyone listen to us? The simple fact that we had to find our own place to be able to have our voices heard is devastatingly telling. As I said earlier in the week, I think little has changed over the last 2+ years — we are still irrelevant.
Finally, I would like to thank @antoni_UK for marching with me today. I told you all yesterday that I would struggle to march today. I could not have done it without my friend who has been such a fab “bodyguard” to me since the incident in London earlier in the year. 3/3
As I am about to depart Singapore to return to the UK and, on Saturday, march for a #PeoplesVote I am reminded that “courage calls to courage everywhere”. Generally a motto for our time, but for me one, as many of you know, that now has a much more personal meaning. 1/
I will march tomorrow because Brexit is a right wing coup that will change the UK forever. And in a very bad way. That it why it must be stopped. ✊ So I will march because courage calls to courage everywhere. 2/
But I cannot deny that it will be difficult for me to march tomorrow because I know a #PeoplesVote, if ever it comes, will not be for me, it will not be for “my people”. ✊Still I will march because courage calls to courage everywhere.
So apparently these are the 10 broken promises against which any Brexit deal must be judged. Protecting us EU27 citizens (and UK in EU27) most immediately affected by specific threats? Not one of them. 2+ years after the EUref and we are still not relevant. Not. At. All. 😔 1/
2+ years we have stood beside you.
2+ years we manned stalls with you to take a stand against Brexit.
2+ years we have seen more hate thrown at us.
2+ years we have supported you as our colleagues, neighbours and friends. 2/
2+ years ... but little has changed. We still have to fight even to be heard and seen. But what makes our omission from the above list even worse is a simple fact: that we are now forced to apply to stay is one of the biggest broken promises of all. I know countless people 3/
Home Office released its 2017/18 hate crime report, noting that “spikes in hate crime following certain events such as the EU Referendum” can be seen. Still, to this day, many claim this is all imagined. As imagined, I suppose, as the email that arrived in my inbox earlier. 1/
To be clear: this is from today, I’m in a different timezone, hence it says 13:41. And I am not suggesting that such emails equal the really serious hate crimes reported. But it’s where it all begins and Brexit is consistently enabling and emboldening this BS. 2/
Landed in Singapore and took a taxi from the airport.
Taxi driver: Where did you fly from?
Taxi driver: Oh, there’s a lot of chaos there. Brexit!
Me: *amazed he said that* Yes, sadly so. More to come, I think.
Taxi driver: Bad UK politicians making bad decisions. 1/
Me: I couldn’t agree more. I’m German and so as an EU citizens it’s especially bad for us.
Taxi driver: Yes, I read an article about that. You have to apply now?
Me: *totally gobsmacked he would know this* Yes, we have to. No matter how long we’ve lived there.
Conversation continues until we reach my hotel. The taxi driver also mentioned:
- Northern Ireland
- the economic impact
- how his view of the UK has changed into a much more negative one.
He was incredibly knowledgeable about Brexit — partly, he says, because many travellers 3/
The garbage I have gotten since I tweeted this, here and via email etc, is remarkable. But what I find upsetting is the fact that so many British people clearly didn’t know this is what EU27 citizens are faced with. One problem is the constant casting of settled status 1/
as a registration process in UK media. It is not:
▪️It is an *application* process.
▪️There is nothing automatic about it.
▪️It is not a case of “filling in a form”.
▪️There will be a criminal records check for adults.
▪️Children 10+ years will be matched against watchlists. 2/
▪️The application can be done via an app... *if* you happen to own an Android phone.
▪️We do not yet know details on other application routes, but they will involve traditional ID-checking, so all without Android phone will prob have to send their passport to Home Office. 3/
To end this shitfuck of a week (for an EU27 citizen in UK) on a real “high”, here’s the latest HO email that arrived today. They now don’t even bother to use a form of address for us. They’re just telling us now that they’re allowing us to apply to stay in our own home. 1/
Well, those who have an Android phone that is. Details on other routes unknown....
.@DominicRaab the *final* batch? So *nothing* on the rights of @The3Million of us in the UK, nor @BritishInEurope. I honestly did not think it was possible for me to abhor this govt's treatment of us even more ... I was wrong. It is now 100% clear that we are collateral. 1/
Initial reports indicated that the notices would include details for us. But despite all the pink fluffy words dispensed, you just don't care. buzzfeed.com/alexspence/a-n… 2/
841 days of limbo for 5 million people.
841 days of struggling to cope, for EU citizens like me, with being rejected by our own home.
I told you how I feel about that in this letter I wrote to you, people of the UK.
So the government has published another 28 no-deal preparedness notices. That makes it over 100 in total. Details for @The3Million and @BritishInEurope? Still 0.
▪️ Five million people.
▪️ All faced with *specific immediate* threats.
❌ No advice at all. gov.uk/government/col…
It's #WorldMentalHealthDay. Time to talk about the impact of #Brexit on mental health. I am sure that much of what I am about to say is more broadly applicable, but, in the end, on something like this I can only tell my story. 1/
As I discovered last week when prepping for @CakeWatchCast, I have now been doing this campaigning for 1250+ days since May 2015. It has taken different forms. In the beginning it was about building a community of pro-EU academics, then against Brexit and for citizens' rights. 2/
My follower number has changed substantially. I'm a fairly well-known 'entity' now - that in itself is a story all of its own in terms of the personal impact. But what I really want to say is that this obviously isn't my job, nor am I a politician with a programme. 3/
Here’s why: It’s what settled status is about—at its core lies the taking away of rights and making it difficult.
That’s why it’s an *application*.
That’s why the plan is to use secondary legislation for most implementation(easily changed w/o Parliamentary debate in future). 2/
That’s why there’s the plan to have a digital special ID only, which will lead to discrimination.
And that’s why there’s an immigration exemption in data protection now. 3/
And what damage is already being done to democracy, @robertshrimsley, by blindly following a path paved only by lies, hate and manipulations? A path that makes a whole country poorer and robs 65 million people of rights? A path that has always excluded those most affected? 1/
And don’t use us, those foreigners, to make a case against a people’s vote. We’ve already carried the heaviest burden and are being forced to apply to stay. Who do you think will be blamed when the economy tanks etc? We are the scapegoats one way or the other. 2/
The difference for us is this: delivering Brexit means cementing that venom. Standing up to Brexit means neutralising it. 3/3
Earlier this week, as I was doing some prep for my @CakeWatchCast debut, I realised that today would, for me, mark *1250 days* of public pro-EU campaigning - since the EUref obviously also against Brexit and for citizens' rights. That is a long time and worth some reflections. 1/
What many of you probably don't know as you weren't following me at the time: it all began with a focus on HE and academia as the first thing I did was set up a pro-EU group for Academics. 2/
Since then a lot has happened and many things have changed - not least the number of my followers. I am very grateful to you all for taking an interest in what I have to say. 3/
.@sajidjavid told his story at #CPC18 and discussed the "word 'home'". Personal stories and home--both very important, yes. So I'm going to tell you mine @sajidjavid: my story as an EU migrant exercising freedom of movement and that of the place I considered my home, the UK. 1/
It's a story that according to you and @theresa_may shouldn't exist. Why? Because based on your immigration proposals the UK would not be my home. Had the rules you set out today existed when I was thinking of making the UK my home, I would not have been able to come. Because 2/
when I was offered my first job here, PhD in hand, I was paid £26k p.a., so well below the salary threshold you think should determine who can or cannot come to the UK, define who contributes to life here. Based on that I would not be here. That's where my story would end. 3/
.@theresa_may So it’s freedom of movement and immigration again. Ok, but then let’s talk about what your words *really* mean.
➡️ This really means that 65 million Britons will lose the right to freedom of movement and if you want visa for us, they’ll have to have them too. 1/
➡️ This really means that 65 million Britons, for the first time in decades, will not be able to freely choose where in 30 countries they want to live, work and love. 2/
➡️ This really means that 65 million Britons are being lied to yet again about the impact of freedom of movement—and after the govt’s own report made it clear that the contribution of EEA citizens is very positive. These lies won’t help “ordinary working people” one bit. 3/
Of course it is a sticking point. It is why 3.7 million of us EU27 citizens - your neighbours, colleagues, friends and family - are being forced to apply to stay in our home .... while the majority of people in the UK watch in silence.
To those who are now intending to tell me again that people aren’t watching in silence: I’m sorry, but that’s simply not true. I know everyone hates it when I speak of the apathy ... but I’m afraid you disliking that doesn’t make it untrue. Of course I know how many care! I’m not
saying that that isn’t so!!! But please remember that the Twitter echo chamber is not a reflection of our experiences as EU27 citizens. I really wish you would respect that experience rather than explain to us that we’re wrong. Also:
I have long since expressed concerns about how migration is being taught at schools in the UK. This is from a Year 8 'knowledge organiser' used by an Academy; it confirms why there is every reason to be concerned.
[I am sharing this with permission from a pupil's parent]. 1/
Some parts of the organiser are ok -- it starts off, for example, with points about why migrants might leave their country of birth, referring to push and pull factors. But what follows then (the bit on the image above) is profoundly worrying and simply shocking. 2/
To single out one group of EU nationals - Polish - is problematic enough. But what is extremely concerning is that the points then made RE: problems are factually incorrect, Moreover, to cast this in terms of "unsustainability" is also a grave misjudgement. And to suggest that 3/
People often ask me what they can do to help: sharing this publication is one concrete step you can take. As it’s available electronically, it’s easy to do. You could email it to your MP, for example, and ask them to support the recommendation I make at the end. 2/
The publication will be publicised in the UK and throughout the EU, including in Brussels, by FES offices to help make sure that no citizen of @The3Million nor of @BritishInEurope is left behind because of Brexit. 3/
When I boarded the train to London early this morning I knew my day would be focused on the rights of @The3Million: today I am pleased to announce the publication of “Endangered Rights: The Impact of Brexit on EU Citizens” with @FES_GB.
Little did I know how topical I’d be! 1/
My thanks to @FES_GB for publishing this as part of its Perspective series to help raise awareness of the still unresolved #citizensrights concerns of @The3Million & @BritishInEurope. Thanks in particular to the Director of the FES London office, Christos Katsioulis. 2/
The publication will be available from the FES website later this week. It will be publicised in the UK and throughout the EU, including in Brussels, by FES offices to help make sure that no @The3Million nor @BritishInEurope citizen is left behind because of Brexit. 3/
Since Cameron announced the EUref, many politicians, commentators and large parts of the press, have played with the lives of millions of EU27 citizens. Yet despite that, we are apparently wrong to take issue with a video game that places us into a ghetto post-Brexit. 1/
Wrong that we wonder why on earth @bbc would just go with that, happily tweeting that "the player tries to live as a European immigrant in a post-Brexit UK". Yes, trying to live ... that is what the 3.7 million of us are trying to do. Because this is our home, not a game. 2/
Can those defending the game really not see what bad a call this was? At a time in which hate crimes are committed against us, and where we remain in limbo and have no guarantees, how could the idea of placing us in a ghetto not be considered misjudged? Can you really not 3/
The context of the game that places EU citizens into a *ghetto* is not a critical piece of art. The context is that we have been 818 days in limbo today. That we are forced to apply to stay in our own home and will get special IDs. That 1000s of us have already been deported. 1/
That we will lose rights. That there will be special checks for us.
All that sits within the wider context of hate crimes committed against us. Of front page after front page of xenophobia. Of evidence of growing discrimination. 2/
So please, do tell: how could anyone ever think that this would serve to educate people? 3/3
✖️After having been made a bargaining chip;
✖️After 818 days in limbo;
✖️After now being forced to apply to stay in my own home, having to get a special ID on a special register;
✖️After no-deal threats;
I truly thought I’d seen it all.
I was wrong. #LivesAreNotAGame 1/
The most tragic bit is this on landlords. Because of the nature of settled status and the special ID we EU citizens will get, I am confident to predict now that discrimination re: renting will be significant. So this really won’t be a game: this will happen, I have no doubt. 2/
Kate Sheppard, who you can see on this New Zealand #Suffrage125 stamp, was fundamental in achieving that. 20-year old Kate migrated to New Zealand from the UK in 1868. Born in Liverpool to Scottish parents, it was family links that brought her to the other side of the world. 1/
Migrants shaping societies they move to; contributing; making them a better place.... Sadly, the failure in the UK to study this, its own migration history, progressively goes some way towards explaing why EU citizens in the UK now are in the situation we are in. 2/