Expats to be heard by MPs

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On Wednesday next week British expats will be giving evidence to the House of Commons’ MPs’ select committee on exiting the EU, which is making an enquiry into what Britain’s Brexit negotiating objectives should be. 

The committee is a cross-party group of 21 MPs formed to scrutinise the work of the Department for Exiting the EU – in charge of Brexit for the government. 

Among those attending the expats’ session will be Christopher Chantrey, the chairman of the British Community Committee of France, as well as expats from Italy, Spain and Belgium. Their participation has been organised by a campaign group based in Germany, Brits in Europe, who have also submitted written evidence to the select committee, which you can read here Brits in Europe
If you have concerns that you would like to be raised in the oral evidence session – especially if they are not addressed in the Brits in Europe’s evidence – please email us at news@connexionfrance.com and we will seek to pass them on. 

It is expected that you will be able to watch the session next week, from 10.00 to 13h (French time) at the following link: Select committee

The select committee meanwhile says that it will be publishing its first report on negotiating objectives tomorrow (Saturday). It held two previous oral evidence sessions last month, but not specifically related to expats. 
Also coming up… 

  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May says she will reveal more detail of the UK’s negotiating position in a speech on Tuesday January 17
  • Two surveys are under way into impacts of Brexit on expats. One by Brussels and Europe Liberal Democrats is here: BELD survey. The other is by Conservatives Abroad and is in two parts – the first is seeking case studies as the UK government prepares a bill abolishing the 15-year expat voting limit, and the second part is about making sure expats’ views are understood with regard to Brexit: Conservatives’ survey.
  • The Supreme Court’s decision is awaited in the case led by Gina Miller, which previously saw the High Court in London rule that MPs must vote before article 50, the EU’s exit clause, can be triggered by the UK government. The government had appealed to the Supreme Court to strike out this judgement, but it is widely expected that it will not do so.
  • Ms Miller’s team told Connexion they do not yet know the date of the judgement – though it is expected this month – and they will only receive three days’ notice. Christopher Chantrey of the British Community in France said he expects it to come in the week starting January 23.
  • A ‘letter before action’ – a precursor step to issuing formal legal proceedings – is being sent to the Irish government today by lawyers who want a ruling in the High Court of Ireland on whether or not article 50, once triggered by the UK, can be revoked later, notably if the proposed deal after negotiations does not suit the UK. The QC leading the case, who is from chambers based in London, hopes it will be referred on to the European Court for a definitive ruling. He says: “If we change our minds, we must be able to withdraw the notice without needing the consent of the other 27 member states”.
  • Two groups of claimants are to be heard by the High Court in London – probably in the week starting January 23 – seeking a legal ruling that if Britain leaves the EU it does not automatically leave the wider European Economic Area (EEA).
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