We’ve hit our initial target, and once again our huge thanks to all those of you who made it happen. You’ve made it possible to kick off the next tranche of work (see below), but first, a bit of background.
Obviously this first tranche of work we have agreed with the legal team is less than originally planned and how we extend that work depends on how the fund-raising progresses.
Even if we don’t extend the work, we still need to raise money to publish, circulate and lobby based on the results of the team’s work.
It would be a great pity if we can afford to get the legal tem to provide legal advice and can’t afford to be able to use it to good effect.
Once bitten, Twice shy!
UK citizens have long been concerned about how they are treated, both at home and abroad, by UK government departments seeking to restrict rights and entitlements.
The scandal of how the Home Office has treated the Windrush generation has sharpened these concerns about how the UK government will behave in the future, how the UK government may disenfranchise them, disown them
The promises by the UK and EU to preserve the rights of UK citizens who have relied on their EU citizenship rights are paper-thin and in some cases non-existent. A small proportion of all the UK citizens who are having their rights stripped away are protected to a limited extent by the exit agreement. Neither the UK nor the EU are doing anything to protect most UK citizens.
At the beginning of this month when giving evidence to the House of Lords EU committee David Davis was reported as not appreciating that ongoing freedom of movement was important to UK citizens residing in EU27 countries:
“Davis is now talking about whether Britons living in the EU will have onward movement rights (the right to move, say, from Spain to France). He says he did not realise until recently how important this was to some retirees.
He says the commission is treating this as an ongoing relationship issue. It remains to be resolved, he says.”
Onward movement is important to all UK citizens resident in the EU. Retirees are a minority of UK citizens living in EU27 countries, possible only as little as 40%.
People who are working may have their next placement in another EU country and need to retain the freedom of movement they currently have, which they probably relied on when accepting the current placement.
People who work in or have retired to a EU country may later feel, with the passing of the years, a need for (say) warmth and sun in Portugal, not chill and rain in Brittany.
The Govt.’s cavalier attitude and acknowledged ignorance about the scope and fallout of their actions speak volumes as to the value of their statements, made almost daily, regarding their intention to get “the best out of Brexit”. To get the best out of something, you first have to understand it.
In summary, reckless, and certainly harmful, incompetence abounds.
Our legal team is now working on producing a plain English summary, covering:
- The draft withdrawal treaty and the extent to which the provisions in it are incomplete or in many cases completely absent for the various groupings of British nationals;
- Identify where human rights may be breached because of these omissions;
- Look at areas where the treatment of the different groups may be unlawfully discriminatory, such as the plans for marked differences in treatment between UK nationals and other EU nationals once the transition period ends.
The objective is to identify what the marginalised, just about all UK nationals to a greater or lesser extent, can do to rectify the situation, whether politically or by recourse to the courts.
This will include discussion of example cases we have identified and the preliminary work done by John Halford in his Millions in the Margins document.
We expect that this work will be completed around mid-June.
We have agreed a capped total fee of £11,500 inc. VAT for this work. This fee has been agreed at great personal cost to the legal team and The People’s Challenge directors. It and the fee for the preliminary work done by John Halford on the Millions in the Margins document have considerably eaten into the funds set aside for the inevitable running costs associated with a campaign organisation such as The People’s Challenge.
So you know what’s coming next: we need to continue the fund-raising. The People’s Challenge continues on its “iceberg” way (about 10% of the work visible, about 90% invisible). Expenses are still being incurred, time’s still being spent identifying and analysing the issues and deciding what we need to do about them.
If anything, this is taking even more time than before, as campaigns and challenges, for better or worse, pop up all over the place.
Once again, we’re asking you to put your hands in your pockets. Our legal team can only work if there is a client to instruct (and pay) them.
We believe that one of the hallmarks of the People’s Challenge campaign is our top-quality legal advice and our willingness to put it in the public domain whenever we can. It’s good enough for other campaigns to quote it without acknowledgement, so our best bet is to take that as a compliment!
So please help us if you can…
We value your support. Just keeping track of the campaigns and challenges that have objectives that match our own takes time and effort, much of what we do costs money that we can only afford with the financial support of people like you.
If you share our concerns about the need to promote the outcome which is in the best interests of the UK, please consider making a donation by clicking on the Gold Card image above.
Our aim is to help people see what’s going on, understand what they are, or aren’t, being told, and decide what is the best outcome for the UK: an outcome in the national interest, protecting fundamental citizenship rights and ensuring Parliament and not the executive is sovereign.
There is still a long way to go and there are no guarantees about what the outcome will be. The only thing that is certain is that if we stop trying we will lose.
To help protect our fundamental rights, and support Parliament in safeguarding them, please send us a donation so we can maintain our campaign and make your voice heard.
Please share this article as widely as you can, thank you very much for your support.
Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.