The foreword to the RENEW UK Policy Blueprint begins,
“The world around us is changing. Virtually every aspect of life is subject to significant disruption. Our family life, our work life and our relationships with government and big business are all changing at an unprecedented pace, change largely driven by the use and misuse of powerful new technologies. Democracy itself has been affected by these new forces, not always in a positive way. As individuals and as a society, we are finding it difficult to keep up with this change and to chart a stable course through it. This has created widespread frustration and exposed a vacuum of political leadership.
Fundamental aspects of life previously taken for granted are now being questioned. When can we look to government for support and when must we fend for ourselves? What rights do we have as citizens and to what extent must we compromise those rights to accommodate those of our neighbours? Who has a right to govern our lives and what is the limit of their authority? Often the fact that there are no clear and easy answers to these questions leads to further uncertainty and more challenging questions.”
For the British diaspora in Europe or British Europeans, there are additional challenges at the heart of our uncertain citizenship status since the UK left the European Union.
British Europeans are uniquely disadvantaged as they become disenfranchised after 15 years absence from the UK and now cannot vote in their country of residence in the EU. However, we are now in pole position to campaign for both reform in Europe and in Britain based upon the Declaration of Human Rights Article 21 which states that, “Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chose representatives.” RENEW UK recognises that the 1.4 million British Europeans need to get their voices heard and can provide a political home which will campaign for their rights in the UK and the EU based upon the individual’s right to political representation where they live and by virtue of their nationality.
RENEW UK is one of the proponents of the European Citizenship initiative which not only strives to embed the rights of British Europeans but may lead to a European passport; it is part of the initiative to reforge the UK’s links with the EU. Furthermore, RENEW UK fully endorses the “Votes for Life” campaign with a view to the establishment of UK Constituencies Abroad.
Recently a correspondent said, “I am keen to get involved but ultimately I want to get more involved in European politics not just UK focussed activities, not that these are not important especially with regard to Citizenship which would eventually lead to proper representation for British residents in Europe.”
If you feel like this correspondent and want to engage with like minded British Europeans then seriously consider participating in RENEW UK to get our voices heard in the UK and the EU. We are seeking to reform our position in the spirit of openness.