lunes, 25 de septiembre de 2017

EUROCITIZENS HAS A FRANK AND OPEN EXCHANGE OF VIEWS WITH HM AMBASSADOR SIMON MANLEY

John Carrivick, Sarah-Jane Morris, Camilla Hillier-Fry, Simon Manley, Nigel Aston, Michael Harris

On Thursday 21 September EuroCiizens met HM Ambassador Simon Manley and Consul Sarah-Jane Morris in the British Embassy in Madrid. We explained that we were also representing other British in Europe groups with members in Spain like Bremain and ECREU and presented a document with an extensive list of queries from UK nationals

We started by expressing concern about the state of EU/UK negotiations on citizens' rights. After the promising directives from the EU in May, the 'generous' UK offer at the end of June was disappointing and has caused a hardening of the EU's stance, resulting in a narrower interpretation of the rights of UK citizens in the EU. Mr Manley defended the UK position and pointed out that the UK was tied to some extent by what the EU was prepared to negotiate to date. He added that progress has been made, for example on pensions and healthcare.
We agreed on a methodology for dealing with the queries from UK citizens. The Embassy will get back to us with written answers over the next couple of weeks. Mr Manley stressed that they would not be able to answer all of the questions, especially those of a political nature and those relating to areas not yet agreed between the UK and the EU. EuroCitizens then mentioned various incidents of bureaucratic problems suffered by UK nationals in Spain and Mr Manley promised to take each of them up with the Spanish and British authorities (as appropriate).
EuroCitizens criticised the lack of information on the Embassy webpage and FB page about how Brexit will affect the lives of UK citizens. The Ambassador's videos and letters were useful if somewhat over-optimistic, but what is needed is an area on the webpage to direct citizens to accessible information about the negotiations and any changes that might affect their lives. Ms Morris pointed out the considerable diversity amongst the British community in Spain, but said that the Embassy would look into ways of improving the flow of information.
The meeting lasted nearly two hours and there was a cordial, frank and open exchange of views between both sides. We now look forward to getting answers to the queries sent in by concerned citizens.

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